Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring is Here!

Perhaps this announcement is a little bit belated, but with Spring being here and gracing us with beautiful, warm, sunny weather during the first couple of days she happened along (something new around these parts, believe me...), you will understand the impossibility of me staying indoors.

The weather has gone back to its old self again - cloudy, windy, grey, rather chilly - but it would seem that the little bit of sunshine I managed to soak in during the last couple of days has been enough to have me in the best of spirits this morning!

Without further ado, I will accompany the belated announcement with a beautiful song my Mum posted along with her welcoming of Spring.

This past weekend I found out, though, that in Romania Spring starts on the 1st of March, and Summer starts on the 1st of June. It was stated, therefore, that I was married in Spring and my husband was married in Summer.

Happy week, everyone! Toodle pips!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

"Little Irène" - Mlle Irene Cahen d'Anvers

Little Irene by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880. Impressionism.

I've had a small printed picture of this portrait of Mlle Irene Cahen d'Anvers since before I was a teenager. One day my family received a promotional pamphlet of some kind of art magazine subscription, and one of the artists featured was Renoir. I was familiar with his more known works (such as The Piano Lesson, A Girl With A Watering Can, etc.), but had never seen this one, which was one of the three paintings that accompanied the mini-article about Renoir.

The moment my eyes fell on it I was so taken by it that I begged my Mum to allow me to cut it out and keep it for myself. It is a fascinating portrait! The girl's expression, the smoothness of her skin, her incredibly beautiful hair, the detail of the bow... I could look and study this painting for hours if I had the time.

Irène's father, Louis Raphael Cahen d’Anvers, was a wealthy Jewish banker. In 1880 he commissioned Pierre Auguste Renior three portraits, one of each of his daughters. Irène's was the first to be done, but the family didn't like it, and asked Renoir to do a second portrait of the two other girls together (the result was Pink and Blue). That didn't please the parents, either, and after paying Renoir a mere 1,500 francs the portraits were hung in the servants' quarters. That obviously upset Renoir.

The history of this painting is a little complex due to WWII, and accounts differ from one another. However, it is presently exhibited at the Foundation E.G. Bührle in Zurich, and open to the public. What I'd give to see it in real life some day. [smile] For now my little version stands on my cork board and is admired every day.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Those Were The Days

They don't do these wonderful things for children anymore!