A picture is worth a thousand words – but sometimes words are better

What do you call the little plaques next to paintings in a gallery? The ones that tell you the name of the artist, the title, the year, etc?

Well, I like them a lot, especially if they have extra information.

Especially if that extra information tells a story.

Tate Britain

Today I went to the Tate Britain, as part of my experiences not objects resolution. It’s free, it’s less than two miles from my flat, and since it’s free I can wander in and leave after 10 minutes if I discover that I’m not in the right frame of mind. Turns out I was in the right frame of mind, and I wandered through sculptures and paintings for a good while.

Ethel

A hairbrush wouldn’t go amiss

See this picture here? Don’t worry, I turned off the flash and didn’t get in anyone’s way taking the picture. It’s called “Ethel”, and it’s a picture of a girl called Ethel. Great. The official catalogue entry says it was painted by her brother in law when she was 14. Now you see why she looks slightly sulky. Her sister’s boyfriend has come round and is insisting that she sit still and do nothing (many pictures of girls have them reading books, at least they’ll be less bored) while he paints her.

Ethel plaque

This information isn’t in the catalogue!

Now for the story. Nothing dodgy with the brother in law, and and slightly dodgy if you think about her being 14 in the picture (she was older by the time this happened). Someone came to the gallery, liked the look of the girl in the picture, asked for an introduction and MARRIED HER!

Is that romantic, or just really really odd? He liked how she looked when she was 14, thought strongly enough about this to seek out an introduction, and then they got along well enough to eventually get married. It must be fate*

 

*I don’t believe in fate.

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