My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

2021, Summer in Mazamet — and art

… and what a strange summer it has been so far. Another year without Summer-Girls visiting. Had they come, we’d be listening to Thomas Dutronc’s album Frenchy and drinking champagne from 19th Century Baccarat Gondole glasses which I had ready for the summer. They were also going to enjoy fixed internet. We’ve got all new equipment after a months long fight with our provider. The boxes don’t restart various times a day, phone calls don’t get cut off, everything works.

The summer weather has been the strangest I’ve ever experienced in Europe, or anywhere for that matter. Bouts of heat followed by bouts of cold, some days it feels like the weather can’t decide what season we’re in. Anyway, the produce is still spectacular this time of year so that somewhat compensates for it.

We’ve had a slight contretemps at building 2 with two tenants moving out at the same time. One got a job in another town and the other is going through a divorce. That means a bit of extra work renting them out again. We like to meet and screen candidates ourselves, just to make sure we know who we’re getting. Mike handles nearly all of that, thank goodness. I don’t have the energy.

In the world of art work has been steadily good this year. Commercially, this is our best summer of all time. That isn’t difficult because the art market generally shuts down for July and August. It seems we’re even saying goodbye to Time Defeated by Hope, Love and Beauty which looked quite excellent at the top of the stairs.

I’ve been researching an absolutely exceptional Spanish piece, school of Martínez Montañés.

She is sublime and reminiscent of a piece at the Cathedral in Huelva.

I’ve also been immersed in reading about lacquerware, mostly Japanese. I know French/Italian/Spanish painted furniture fairly well (and love it), but the Asian varieties are a whole new world. Much more complex. While reading on the topic I landed on an interview with the highly respected owner of Kagedo Japanese Art, Jeffery Cline:

“One day Jeff was called in to see one of his teachers. His teacher asked Jeff, ‘what do you think the art market is about?’ Jeff recounted, ‘To me it seemed like a ludicrous question and none of my answers got him nodding his head. Eventually, he stopped me and said ‘selling art is about human relations — about the incredible people who buy it and love it.’ I pondered that for many years but of course he was right.”

I’d love to do that, but I’m not quite there yet. I still have to place some serious consideration on finances. But, yes, it is wonderful to buy beautiful things and then place them with the exact right person who falls in love with them. This is even more fulfilling when something was sadly neglected, covered in dust in an attic, and then ends up having an important place in the world. Perhaps that’s the subconscious catalyst to my work? Ooh, that was scary, I must stop analysing everything all the time. 

Speaking of neglected things, I found an extraordinary set of tables. Christie’s calls this variety a nest of tables, Sotheby’s calls it a set of stacking tables. I lean to the Sotheby’s description because I imagine they were made to be stacked in the corner of a room. Anyway, a near identical set to our neglected set was sold in 2015 for a respectable sum. They belonged to Princess Ismene Chigi della Rovere. The Chigi are one of the princely Roman families. I found an amusing picture of her marriage to Prince Mario Chigi. Her expression says, “I know exactly what you were doing with the bridesmaid last night!” — and his expression is, “she’s going to make me pay for the rest of my life.”

I can imagine a set of tables like that being the home to a spectacular collection of netsuke like the one in The Hare with Amber Eyes. Also, here’s a picture of the David Teniers tapestry I promised which has come back clean from Paris. The colours have mellowed with age and make it look almost like a watercolour, which is a fantastic effect for a tapestry.

And that’s it for now, folks 🙂

24 comments on “2021, Summer in Mazamet — and art

  1. Viktor Lindeboom
    August 13, 2021

    Today is three years ago Sarah Porter has left us.

    Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 13, 2021

      Insane, isn’t it? She just was the sort of person that seemed like she’d be around forever.

      Like

  2. clubschadenfreude
    August 13, 2021

    thank you for the bits of beauty you show us, pink. That photo is great too and yep, there is a story there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 13, 2021

      I think you’re part of the tiny minority, like myself, that enjoys art pictures. Art posts get the least views/interest but are my favourite :/

      Like

      • clubschadenfreude
        August 13, 2021

        well, I need something to remind me that there is *some* reason not to want the human species to vanish.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 13, 2021

        Me too 🙂 That’s a huge motivation for me.

        Like

  3. Steve Ruis
    August 13, 2021

    Re “They were also going to enjoy fixed internet. We’ve got all new equipment after a months long fight with our provider. The boxes don’t restart various times a day, phone calls don’t get cut off, everything works.” Are you sure your county didn’t drift across the border and end up in Germany? This is all very suspicious.

    And I think netsuke are one of the highest expressions of art by the Japanese. I am not surprised you noticed.

    I sincerely hope the Summer-Girls can return next summer, but I am being greedy. I love reading your accounts of their visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 13, 2021

      We were at an impasse with Orange (the internet company) because they said the problem was “in the house” and wanted to charge us 69€ for a visit. But we contended they installed the fibre line and equipment so it was their responsibility no matter where the problem was. Anyway, we wore them down in the end.

      I’m a monumental fan of Japanese art, but my knowledge is as yet incredibly limited. I hope to rectify that in the coming years!

      Like

  4. john zande
    August 13, 2021

    Weird winter here. Yesterday 32, today lucky to get past 16.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymole
    August 13, 2021

    102F three days in a row here in Portland OR. (Better than the 115F we had two months ago.)

    That fellow with the spear, someone’s gonna lose an eye.

    The Matryoshka tables’ stance seems tenuous. I guess in a corner they’re protected from getting bumped by drunken revelers.

    The IPCC says we’re all toast, so, let’s toast to the toasting of the planet. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 13, 2021

      Mike’s been talking about buying an electric car “for the environment” but I’m with the IPCC — it’s all over. There’s nothing we can do. Let’s install air conditioning in every room and get drunk!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Devries
    August 13, 2021

    I like those tables….but our stuff is too clumpy for them in the main…and the colours aren’t right either…yet I would love to have them, just to enjoy them as they are.
    And as for electric cars, I am damned if I want small children working to produce lithium so that people whom, I imagine, condemn slavery can wallow in the self satisfaction of ‘saving the planet’. Apart from which the blasted things would never get up to our house…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory
    August 14, 2021

    Confession time…I’m kind of so-so with the religious art, but if you really get into Japanese art you’ll never get rid of me. Seriously, I’m not sure I could live in a house so beautiful even a flower petal can’t be out of place but…I’d love looking at it. I hope I get to indulge my love affair with all things Japanese at least once before I’m too old to travel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 14, 2021

      I’ve always been into Japanese and Chinese art, but in a very haphazard, Europeanised way. We take their things and fit them into our vision — which is beautiful, but I do want to have a better understanding of how they do it and why.

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        August 15, 2021

        I’m the same Pinky. Actually, no, no I’m not. I suspect you know way more than I do despite your ‘haphazard’ way. If you do get deeper into the aesthetic, I’d love to learn more myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan
    August 18, 2021

    I love reading your posts x

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2021 by in art and tagged , , , , , , .
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