Monday, June 7, 2010

My fascination with 18th century France

18th century still life

Can only be explained by reincarnation! What other reason would a middle class black boy born in Mobile, Alabama be fascinated with 18th century France? and also the Antebellum period in the South but that's another post look for it soon. For some reason as a small child I have always had very strong feelings that I have lived in France. I had not been at that age but looking at magazines, books, movies anything I could get my hands on about 18th century France I felt right at home. No one in my family had this same fascination for France or anything old although I did grow up with some antiques around the house my family wanted everything modern as most African Americans I know.

The first time I went to France I was 19 with my French boyfriend. He was from the South of France. Going to France for the first time I felt right at home eventhough I could not find my beloved root beer, {that was my Southern roots}. This was the first time in my life that I felt I could be myself and comfortable. The French lived me and I was in the most beautiful country in the world. One of my many memorable moments of this trip was in a small 18th century Fisherman's village called Hyeres in the South of France. We were in the 18th century village square surrounded by fabulous 18th century 3 story stucco homes. it was around 7am in the morning. A boy came out of one of the homes with a old pottery jar walked to the century's old stone fountain and filled his jar with mountain water just as it would have been done 250 years ago.

A tear fell from my eye as for this brief moment I was taken back to one of my favorite periods in history. I have since been back to France many times and have traveled back in time thru other moments like this. It was not until my late 20's that I began to study reincarnation although it was something I have always believed in, in the back of my mind. In my study of it, the evidence of reincarnation is overwhelming and now it all made since. No I was not my favorite idol Marie Antoinette but I'm sure I did live during her life time and saw her.

18th century miniature on ivory of French Queen Marie Antoinette

I was bored one day so I made this 18th century still life with some of my favorite things maybe I own them in the 18th century and they found there way back to me. Who knows. French porcelain cup painted with poppy's & Cornflowers one of Marie Antoinette favorite flowers , French Revolutionary period 1790's.The cornflower pattern was popular on porcelain before the French Revolution due to Marie Antoinette. The pattern was updated during the French Revolution period by adding red poppy's. This gave this Ancien Régime pattern a updated look incorporating the tri color of the revolution, red-poppy's, white-porcelain and blue-cornflower. Revolutionary period decorated porcelain is extremely rare. I have only seen it in books and museums in Paris. I was excited when a friend in San Francisco sold me a pair of cups and saucers for 50 bucks. Next to the cup a American Philadelphia made fiddle pattern coin silver spoon early 19th century. A few months back I treated myself to a Miniature on ivory in gold locket Swedish or French 1790's. I bought it at Neal's auction house in New Orleans as a treat to myself for a Easter Sunday article about my art and a up and coming show of my artwork in the Mobile, Al newspapper.

Disregard the horrible photo in this article, it seams now with the economy being what it is writers are now photographers, after they interview you. I know something was up when she did not seem to know how to use her camera and I had to give her some advice. I was not feeling I'm ready for my close-up Mr De Mille. But anyway the show was a great!
I collect miniature portraits on ivory and had bought this one as American. It was obviously painted by a very skilled artist a little too fine for what was coming out of America in the 1790's . You can see how the artist finely painted

the gold embroidery on the white undercoat and gold stick pin the under flesh tones on the face are amazing. I latter found out the miniature was Swedish by a miniature expert that also has a wonderful blog. All on 18th century French documents.

                                     Miniature on ivory in gold locket Swedish or French 1790's       

1 comment:

  1. I also like to think that as we come back we come in contact with the same people over and over, either to renew friendships or to continue to work out relationships.