Saturday 5 June 2021

Flaming June!

The expression came into use after Frederic, Lord Leighton, painted his picture back in Victorian times. But it really wasn't a comment on the weather- and nobody is quite sure whether he was referring to the name of the model, the colour of her dress or her flaming red hair. This art is quite a contrast to the contemporary stuff at the Blyth and Waveney exhibition.

It is proving to be glorious weather here in Norfolk, after all the rain of previous weeks.

The beach at Sea Palling was great for a family picnic.

Rosie taught George how to make sand-castles. She is taking her responsibilities as Big Cousin so seriously! The sea was not particularly warm. Sorry Mags, I didn't manage a cold-water-bathe. Bob was disappointed that I never took any photographic evidence of his swimming [he spent ages in the water]

I've been doing more reading up about the Leighton picture. I knew it was in a gallery in Puerto Rico, but didn't know the full story of how it got there. It's truly fascinating...

Painted in 1895, it went missing, then in 1962, a builder renovating a house uncovered it. He took it to an art shop in Clapham who paid him £60 for it. They sold the frame, and put the canvas on display for £50. A teenage boy fell in love with it, and begged his grandmother to lend him the money to buy it. She refused [she didn't like Victoriana!] So he was disappointed [and the boy in question was a young Andrew Lloyd Webber] The painting was sold on, and within a year, the retired Army Officer who purchased it decided it was too large for his London flat. He sold it to Jeremy Mass who ran a gallery in Mayfair. JM realised its worth and offered it to all the major British Galleries - who turned him down. But the director of the main art gallery in Puerto Rico bought it on June 24th 1963 for £2000. It remains in PR to this day!

Jeremy Maas was the father of Rupert, that lovely expert who appears regularly on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.  

The Leighton House Museum is temporarily closed- I had a wonderful visit there with Liz in 2012. I think the way that Leighton paints fabric and draperies is utterly amazing,

One young lady with flaming red hair went into Norwich on the bus with her mum this week - for her first ever haircut!

I love the pre-Raphaelites'. Bob, like ALW's grandmother really isn't fond of them at all. Now we are living here permanently, Millais' "Mariana" aka "Backache Woman" has been removed from the bedroom wall, to be replaced by a mirror. I miss her


  1. We spent a few holidays in Sea Palling when the boys were little. Happy memories.

  2. I have to admit to a weakness for the pre-Raphaelies - they are always so striking.

  3. I think if Millais had painted Mariana as being heavily pregnant, her pose would be very understandable! Lovely painting.

  4. Lovely photos of the family at the seaside. Rosie looks so happy. I hope she liked her first ever hair cut!


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