I painted the above landscape in Florence a long long time ago, still a student, searching for my own 'voice' in art (I'm still searching). With all the moving from one country to another this painting, which I loved, was lost.
Andrei Korliakov leaves a comment on my Blaugustine blog in French below my Beautiful Blank Slate post of January 9th.
I get in touch with Monsieur Korliakov, a Russian historian living in Paris.
I am amazed, dazed, enchanted and enthused when he writes back, attaching the above photo, saying he found the painting a few years ago in a Paris flea market.
It was signed so he looked my name up on the internet.
The coincidence - if it's still possible to call such entrancing synchronicities coincidence - doesn't stop there: the most traumatic and significant period of my father's life was his emigration from Russia to Paris during the chaotic events of the 1920s. Andrei Korliakov's research (and his interesting website) is concerned with Russian emigration from 1917 to 1947.
How do these threads in the vast tangled web of human history end up linking together?
My Russian émigré father.
My father rents the Villa Ulivi in Florence for a project he's working on.
I paint the cypress trees in the Villa's fabulous garden, excited by everything I see.
Time goes by. The painting is lost.
Much much much more time goes by.
A Russian historian is browsing the marché au puces at the Porte de Vanves in Paris.
He picks up a painting he likes and notices the signature, a Russian name.
He buys the painting. Time goes by.
He looks up my website, contacts me on my blog, Blaugustine.
The lost painting is found.
Andrei invites me to visit him the next time I am in Paris. You can be sure that I will do so at the earliest possible opportunity!