05 January 2016

Sharing: "The Garden of Eden"

The Garden of Eden, Hugh Goldwin Riviere

Chances are you've seen this painting before. Perhaps it hung in a Victorian-style tea room, in a grandparent's living room, or in the bedroom of a young Jane Austen fan. I own a copy of this print, but I haven't hung it in years. In fact, it went into storage just after my late husband died.

We were unlikely owners of such a print. Both of us preferred less emotive, less "twee," less cliched art. Yet one day, while rummaging through charity shops and antique malls in an English coastal town, we saw it--a beautifully framed, clean, and glassed copy of this painting.

Even though we recognized the picture itself--it seems to be everywhere in England--neither of us knew its title nor its artist (in fact, I only decided to Google that information for this post). It was as anonymous as any generic, pretty picture of a love-struck, bourgeois Victorian couple could be. But it struck us (yes, it's corny. I admit it).

I don't recall that we actually spoke about whether to get it or not; we just snapped it up and hung it in our home that evening. It's corny, but I expect it mirrored our own relationship at that point. For the duration of our time together, the painting hung. I took it down once he passed, from cancer, in 2009. As I said before, I haven't hung it since (but it remains, carefully wrapped, in my home). I don't think I shall ever hang it again because this common print, this cliched image, still holds something of our togetherness, our "us-ness," if you will. And I do not wish to share that. Not yet, anyway.

Addendum: I'm not a confessional person by nature, so, yeah, there will be few personal posts like this on the "relaunched" MP&GS.  

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