On Friday afternoon we went to visit a former colleague, at ninety-nine years of age still going strong and excellent company. We had left home in a downpour but arrived to sunshine and sat in the colourful back garden to drink tea, eat apple pie and reminisce.
Black clouds and another downpour eventually took us indoors.
The house is crammed with all manner of things, collected not for their value but for their beauty and the pleasure that they give. We had come to look at his collection of drawings and prints. The large blue paintings are the artist's own work.
Transformed behind a Japanese mask.
A mantelpiece of small delights.
I love a home like this where objects have been assembled over years. It's so far removed from the awful interior design make-over programmes and bland 'themed' schemes that have nothing at all to do with the personality of the people whose home it is. The etching on the mantelpiece is a Degas print of Manet. Such beautiful marks, something to drool over! It's a reject piece, scored over by the printer. This makes it of no interest to those who collect art as a financial transaction. It was bought when our friend was a student, his only means of affording to buy a superb piece of draftsmanship. The scoring takes nothing away from the beauty of the work.
And the same with a Picasso print.
Art and good company -
what a great way to spend an afternoon.