• The destiny of a photo

    This photo of Helene in Broomfield Park in 1962

    The destiny of a photo

    ...was sent to Charles who was doing his military service in Germany, and he drew it:

    The destiny of a photo

    (the picture above was probably taken of him at his desk to be sent to Cath waiting for him at home in England)

    Then the drawing found its way to Grandma's dresser where we can see it here in 1966 with Carol and Janet:

    The destiny of a photo

    along with another drawing (left on second shelf) of this picture:

    The destiny of a photo

    I wonder where the drawings are now... In Bonnebosq?


    Friday 26/7: Helene has just sent me this, which she had at home:

    The destiny of a photo

    Now the mystery thickens, because it isn't the same as the drawing on the photos above. Helene is not sure whether this version might be the original drawing, or a copy... But it might well be the original drawing, because contrary to Grandma's, it features the hand (but neither the pram nor what the hand was holding), which doesn't appear on Grandma's version. Painting the hand is coherent with a first version of the drawing, which would probably have sought to be faithful to the original.

    The version without the hand, focussing only on the face, could thus have been more satisfying artistically, because here the hand isn't very well executed, and neither is the face, BTW, narrower than on the original photo. So all this favours Grandma's version as a n°2.

    On the other hand, the drawing present next to Charles at the army doesn't show the hand: could he have already done the two at the time ? This is hardly likely...

    Well, there are lots of unanswered questions and suppositions: we'll have to ask Cath and Charles about the history! But in the meantime, what do you think? Which one came first, which one is a copy (or a n°2)?


    OK, so for those who were wondering, here's the answer: Charles (who came to visit us in Sahurs, and to whom I showed this post) did indeed paint Grandma's version (which is now at Bonnebosq, I'll have to photograph it next time I go) after Hélène's version, because, he thinks, n° was unsatisfactory artistically (hand, shoulders...) and he did have all the time he needed during military service to do so: indeed, he said, he was so idle that everybody came to him to have their portrait done, more than 50 of them, he estimates!


    Epilogue A final addition to this post (Sept 14): here are the two portraits, photographed at Bonnebosq, where they have been ever since Grandma's death:

    The destiny of a photo

    And, whose hand is it in the background? The artist's!

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  • Comments

    Helene Pavey
    Saturday 27th July 2013 at 23:16

    I think that, often, one has a try at drawing something and then one realises that something is wrong, one identifies what needs to be rectified, and gets it better the second time around. So.... Number 1 is the second attempt. In my opinion. Also, if Papa drew the hand first and thought it was badly done, then he redid the drawing and cut out the silly-looking hand.

    Adele Millou
    Sunday 28th July 2013 at 13:33

    New theory : he wanted to try to draw it in color, and wanted the landscape. The first time he wanted to see Tini closely and the next he wanted to try color and the hole picture... 
    I'm not sure if i even agree with my theory, but i think we must extend our guesses !

    And congrat's on finding all theses pictures !

    yvesM yvesM profile
    Tuesday 13rd August 2013 at 21:39

    Oh Adèle, Grandma's portrait was in colour (at least I'm pretty sure it was)!

    Anyway, I had Grand-père on the phone the other day: he said he's coming to see us soon. So I will have to try and remember to show him all this, and get the solution of the mystery!!

    Helene Pavey
    Monday 26th August 2013 at 23:50



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