This painting was one of the first antique pieces I bought after purchasing my first home. I found it in an antique store in Manhattan Beach, CA when I still lived there. I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a painting of El Greco, after a self-portrait of his. On the back is marked “Musee de Seville”. I suspect it was done by an art student, in part because when you look at it a certain way, it’s obvious there is at least one other painting lurking under El Greco’s surface (if you look closely, you can see the faint outline here of what looks like an upside down figure, so the canvas was probably turned), and art students are well-known for reusing their canvases.
As I’ve gotten older and come to see more of my possessions as just “stuff”, El Greco remains one of the very few things that I treasure. Something about the darkness of it, the fact that you can’t see his clothes but only his brooding face and those pale, elegant hands, speaks to me. I continue to be intrigued by what’s under the surface. It hangs in my kitchen, and I never stop feeling a little rush of pure appreciation when I look at it.
And art is so easy to come by. It’s everywhere you look; in nature, in books and magazines, in antique stores and thrift shops. Our home is filled with artwork we’ve picked up for less than $30 at local auctions and estate sales, and every single piece brings me enjoyment every single day (although admittedly, none so much as my beloved El Greco). Each one comes with a story of how we acquired it and each one moves me in a different way. I like to think we’ve given them a good home. In return, they’ve brought me hours upon hours of enjoyment.
What about you? What are the little things in your home – collected or bought – that bring you simple enjoyment? Share here or using the #littlethings on Twitter!