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.

Vintage and antique pieces

You might be aware from previous blogposts of mine that I am a collector of old pieces, some of which are listed in my Etsy shops. Here are some pieces that will soon be listed.

A selection of vintage pieces for my Etsy shop

A beautiful needlework picture depicting Pierrot. I love the colours and it’s of good quality, just ready for framing. I’d love it in a white frame.

A wooden box of solid wood in an unusual drop shape, a vintage or antique piece.

A stunning candleholder with aged patina and worn silver gilding. Marked with “Freud Ltd London (C)”. From the font type and patina it would appear to be antique. A quick search did not yield any matches.

A pair of carved bone masks. I normally don’t buy masks but these seemed a good pair of nice make.

Yesterday we were on a walk in the neighbourhood and I went to check one of the charity shops (thrift stores). Lately I haven’t been on the lookout for items to sell because there are plenty still on my shelves awaiting to be added to the shops.

Usually I’m perusing second hand fashion for quality pieces for own use, to support a circular economy that benefits charitable causes and doesn’t further burden our planet. So I buy used things instead of newly produced clothing that continues to unnecessarily use up the resources of our planet.

This time I happen to stumble upon pieces that I thought would be a nice addition for my vintage shop and didn’t want to leave them behind.

They soon will be listed, and hopefully later adorn a new loving home. For now I’m enjoying them on the mantlepiece.

The other pictures shown in this photo are also available for purchase (worldwide shipping).

My Etsy shops:

Vintage pieces : V for Vintage London https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VforVintageLondon

Antique artefacts : An Old Country House https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AnOldCountryHouse

Frantisek Vizner’s whirlpool vases

Some time ago I acquired two vintage paintings depicting studies of blue vases.

Blue vase studies

The varied shades of blue, teal, green and browns in the pictures were attractive, and so were the blue shell in one and the blue swirly glass in the other. Their different shapes and perspectives were intriguing.

I had no background history about the artwork and online there were sparse details about the artist. Nevertheless, I thought they would look great in modern or contemporary interiors.

Some months passed and I posted them on Facebook. One evening a collector of art glass vases kindly offered a lead to the objects depicted in the painting shown on the right. They were the sought-after “whirlpool” vases, the work of famous Czech artist Frantisek Vizner, from around 1968.

It’s likely that the other painting also portraits a well known piece. I’d be grateful for any information or thoughts you could share.

František Vízner and the whirlpool vase

Vizner trained at famous glassmaking schools and subsequently graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. He then went on to work as glass designer for the Czechoslovak glass industry, until 1975, when he made his own steps as independent artist. Vizner’s studio glass works are represented in museums such as the Museum of Applied Art and Craft in Prague, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, among others.

Czechoslovakia has had a long tradition of creating glass artefacts and hosted some of European major centres of glass works.

Below are some examples of the “whirlpool” design (source: Pinterest).

These paintings are now available in my Etsy shop, or can be acquired directly.

Whirlpool vase study by Don Micklethwaite

My collection of art from 18th, 19th and 20th century is ever growing. I’m sharing some of it, to find new appreciative homes for the artworks.

I have more exciting pieces of fine art, of which I’m still researching the background history, including a painting of a famous Swiss artist and a mystery set of WWI portraits.

Should you have knowledge of WWI uniforms, please do get in touch.

Warm greetings, until next time