Mondayitis – Insulted
On occasion I visit our local Marché aux puces and have unearthed a treasure or two.
This very Sunday I arose with the sun and ventured forth to search the piles of dross for beautiful objects to adorn my home.
Now, readers of this blog will know how much I admire the antique and all things French. Imagine my delight therefore when, after a demoralising wander about “vintage” clothing racks, “retro” hipster stalls and discarded motorcycle parts I espied a framed engraving lying temptingly on the bitumen.
Being careful to adopt a nonchalant air of indifference lest my enthusiasm raised the avarice of the vendor, I picked it up off the gravel and turned it over. The label on the back clearly proclaimed it to be an engraving of the Virgin and the Infant Jesus created by a chappy called J J Frilley based on an original drawing by Raphael. The note went on to say that this was taken from the original plate in the Louvre and was printed and framed France. JOY!
I asked casually how much it was and held my breath.
“Five bucks.” Was the reply.
I forked out a fiver and rushed off, clutching the treasure to my bosom.
As you can clearly see from the picture, the Virgin sits with the infant Jesus and I was charmed by the composition and what I thought were signs of the master engraver interpreting Raphael’s own original masterpiece which I discovered is now sadly lost.
I returned home to find a wall worthy of my find and looked forward to sharing the joy of this masterpiece with a friend who was to call for brunch.
The friend duly arrived and was directed to the picture. I did not tell anything of its provenance expecting that the picture would speak for itself. My friend gazed at it intently for some moments.
“What is the matter with the baby’s head? Looks like the poor child has encephalitis! No wonder the Virgin Mary looks disturbed”
This “friend” then burst out laughing and could hardly control herself the whole morning tea despite my dagger looks over my Earl Gray.
Never more shall that irreligious philistine darken my doorway and now I cannot look at my lovely treasure from the Louvre without wondering if Jesus is suffering from water on the brain.