Portrait paintings: Collecting

Neal and his father inspecting Neal's work forging the Degas, White Collar @bijoukaleidoscope

I have many collections. I am not a minimalist. I collect murano glass, vintage brooches, art, vintage children’s books, quotations/quotes, art, china, birds… In this particular post, however, I refer to my growing collection of portraits of women.

I remember a few key moments in the last 5 years that have truly cemented this love.

The first that comes to mind is a 1940s portrait of a woman I was instantly attracted to about 6 years ago over the fireplace in a homewares store not far from my home. There was nothing spectacular about the painting, but it just attracted me so much. The owner of this business rather brusquely informed me that it was not for sale – a reasonable question given he sold homewares, art and vintage! No, I wasn’t even allowed a quick photograph. But I do remember my reaction to the painting.

The next memory that comes to mind as I type is my Nicola, which I enjoyed for a short time in 2008. Her sultry gaze and strong colours drew me. Funnily enough, no one in my family other than me liked it. So it has gone to a friend. Looking back at the portrait now, I still love it so very much.

My Nicola painting by Shabner

My Nicola

The next memory is of a large portrait painting of a woman in a white gown against a watermelon wall in a very stately home. I blogged about it here.

The master bedroom, Greystone Manson, via Woodson & Rummerfield’s

The master bedroom, Greystone Manson, via Woodson & Rummerfield’s

Then there is, of course, Robert Henri’s Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, which I blogged about a year ago.

My own growing collection of portraits are Janet Hill pieces. To family and friends, I call the collection “My ladies”.

My Janet Hill collection, My Ladies, in our previous home/rental.

My Ladies, in our previous home/rental.

But the main portrait painting that triggered this post and the few more to come, is from my last post.

Post Series: White Collar’s Neal Caffrey’s Apartment – Art pieces Neal works on

I LOVED this portrait painting:

John Singer Sargent's oil painting, Nonchaloir or Repose 1911

John Singer Sargent’s oil painting, Nonchaloir (Repose) 1911

So I began looking at paintings by masters of women. I found a plethora. An absolute treasure trove of paintings by masters, of women who wore gowns of rich, sumptuos fabric and jewels. Masters that knew how to paint velvet, light, pearls, gold, lace…

I share my findings with you, with delight. My next few posts will feature many, many of these paintings. Stand by!


P.S. I love this sweet blogpost by about The Decorologist her collection of portraits too.
26 October 2017



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com