Little cupids at the House of the Vettii in Pompei

I was instantly enamoured of this little hand painted picture when I came across it. Those naughty “amorini” (little cupids), so finely depicted in exquisite and vibrant colours captured my glance.

“Pompei – I Farmacisti” by M. Cirillo, inspired to the antique mural frescos at the House of the Vettii in Pompei

The subject is inspired to the antique Roman frescos in the hall of the House of the Vettii, in Pompei, Italy.

Isn’t in remarkable that Pompei was rediscovered in modern times after laying buried under ashes and soil for centuries? The frescos still display such elegantly vivid colours, as if those rooms were still inhabited.

The frescos in the main room of the Vettii house are superb and denote a forward-looking attitude in matter of style, as they transitioned from the previous Roman style to a new one. 

This little painting has just been listed on my Etsy shop VforVintageLondon.

Old landscapes

I love vintage paintings and my collection counts many pieces. One section is dedicated to landscapes and nature.

The tradition of British landscape painting: views of sea, lakes, streams, mountains and trees. I can’t resist the pull of those wide spaces, the rugged solitary beauty, or the romantic serene scenes. These views evoke positive feelings – a sense of inner peace and well being.

I am now listing a few British pieces – some is vintage and some is antique artwork.

There is this little picture of a ruined castle near a mountain cliff by the shore of a lake, possibly depicting a Scottish loch. The location bears good resemblance with the ruined Kilchum Castle on the Loch Awe. The scene has a pretty and peaceful atmosphere, with warm tones.

Antique oil painting, 19th century English school
Very old canvas, with mark by Muller, an art provider in the City of London

Then there is this little charming vintage painting with beautiful colours and showing a marine view. A country cottage is perched atop a gentle hill, with dry stone wall and colourful front garden. Opposite, we have a wide view of the sea, with rolling waves, rocks, and a fluffy cloud sky. Close to the viewer, a wide bay with sandy beach. On the very far horizon a rain shower is hinted. This serene and gentle marine landscape depicts Runswick Bay, a little village near Whitby in Yorkshire.

Vintage painting of Yorkshire village by the sea, from the 1990s

What about this rugged mountain landscape with a solitary stream, perhaps an English dale, or a corner of the Scottish Highlands? Or is that a wild area in Wales? I love those majestic peaks in the far distance, and a handful of birds dancing in circle above scattered rocks. The earthy tones mixed with greens and teals. The grand and remote peace.

Are these the English Dales or the wild Wales?

The last painting is an antique oil of a Scottish Highland landscape and is one of my all-time favourite. The composition again depicts the countryside, this time less remote, with a river gently turning, its water flowing slowly across mountains and hills, with vegetation and trees. You would expect to see someone appearing from a little path in between the greenery. Does this view really exist or is it an artistic fancy? Where does the river flow into? How would it look in stormy weather? I very much like the old frame in which the painting sits, with its rich yet elegant motifs.

Do you like paintings? What’s your favourite style or subject? Do you hang or display pictures in your home?

Find them on my Etsy shops:

Vintage painting of Yorkshire village by the sea at V for Vintage London

Antique oil painting of ruined castle by a cliff at An Old Country House

Rugged mountain landscape will be listed at V for Vintage London

Highland landscape will be listed at An Old Country House

Visit VforVintageLondon on Etsy

Visit AnOldCountryHouse on Etsy

@vforvintagelondon on Instagram and Pinterest.

Rubens’ landscapes exhibition and The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection museum in London, in cooperation with The National Gallery, organised a temporary exhibition with two Rubens’ landscape paintings from his mature period: Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes(Wallace Collection’s webpage on the exhibition).

For the first time in over two centuries, this exhibition reunited The Rainbow Landscape and A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning. Both companion paintings depict the slightly idealised landscape around Het Steen, Ruben’s countryside manor, where he retired in his later years with his young family.

A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning
The Rainbow Landscape

The countryside depicted is rich and warm, projecting an impression of abundance and happiness. I believe this was a reflection of his inner happiness, in a time where he was free to paint for his own enjoyment rather than for commission, living the good life together with his young wife and newly-born children. On the contrary, his homeland itself was going through a period of conflict and war.

The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the art collections brought together by the first four marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the likely illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess. These outstanding collections were bequeathed to the British nation by Lady Wallace, Sir Richard’s widow, in 1897. The museum hosts 18th century French art, many important 17th and 19th century paintings, medieval and Renaissance works of art and one of the finest collections of princely arms and armour in Britain.

We booked the entrance for the opening time and walked from home to the museum, then leisurely visited the rooms, including a nice break at their cafeteria where I enjoyed an exquisite green tea.

We started with Rubens’ exhibition, which was closing today, and then proceeded to the rooms hosting the permanent collections.

There is a lot to see, with many masterpieces and collections of various interests, as well as the house itself with many of its original interiors. We enjoyed it very much and will visit again to learn more about the artefacts.

If you happen to be in London, I warmly recommend a visit to The Wallace Collection, and a break at their cafeteria to enjoy some good food or a drink.

(disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post)

Letting it go

I’ve been steadily going through my belongings and sorting out my collections and generally “my stuff”.

This was prompted by wanting to “put some order” and moving some things into storage. I own quite a few beloved collections and finally decided to let part of these go.

Some items have been donated and others have been listed already, which feels good!

Here a few that have been or are looking for a new loving owner..

Original vintage sewing bust mannequin SUPAFIT Made in England with adjustable sizing. The vintage picture in the background is also being listed. (sold)

 

Beautiful flowerspray in white & blue jug still life composition

Lovely flowers and shades, from a Russian painter

The hues and motif is cheerful and peaceful, so I’m enjoying it on my wall until a new loving owner is found.

 

This antique 1930s British BSA bicycle has found a new home with a dad and son working on a restore project. They came all the way from a rather distant city to collect it! I would have loved to restore it, but enough time was not at hand….

After going through various thoughts and feelings, I am now ready to share the love – I will part with a sizeable part of my collections. It’s time to travel a bit lighter.

There will be:

  • extensive collection of old patterns and magazines (knitting, crochet, sewing and crafts), antique cards & ephemera
  • vintage jewellery
  • antique books
  • old items in silver and gold (flatware, home decor, table dressing, jewellery)
  • vintage and antique paintings, china, tins and boxes
  • quirk finds

I’m currently organising the items and this will take time. More beloved finds will be slowly listed over the coming months. It takes time to take photos and write descriptions 😉

Please get in touch should you be interested in some of these, I can provide details in advance, as well as quotes. I can ship to the UK and internationally.

My current listings can be seen here:

 

Our English Coasts

At a charity shop I found an old art magazine by The National Art Collections Fund, containing articles about Botticelli and the Pre-Raphaelites, among other interesting ones. Skimming through the pages, my attention was drawn to a picture: it was familiar but at the same time not really. It was familiar in that its object was known, but the painting itself was until now unknown to me.

It’s a natural view of some English coast… but you may recognise a special element in it. Look at the following picture, aren’t those woolly creatures just beautiful?

Our English Coasts ('Strayed Sheep'), William Holman Hunt, 1852Our English Coasts (‘Strayed Sheep’), William Holman Hunt, 1852

Digressing from the woolly theme, I’d like to briefly present another work associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. A later follower of their style, John William Waterhouse painted Ophelia in 1910, after some preparatory studies. I like those colours, the line and decorative elements of the dress, its beautiful corset and gown and the simple flowers. Ophelia and her tragic fate and unfortunate love was the object of many of his paintings.

Ophelia, John William Waterhouse, 1910             Ophelia, John William Waterhouse, 1910 (source: Wikipedia page)