“Cafe Eve, Simons, Park Royal”
Bio: Wendy A.
- retired Home Economics teacher
- born in B.C.
- powerful Scottish background
- grew up in a household of visual art and music
Goya’s painting of a boy in an orange suit with a ruffle was something Wendy looked at in an art book at home maybe a hundred times starting at age five. It took her attention. Orange was not her favourite colour. She usually liked green.
The boy was Spanish royalty. She had the fabulous pleasure of actually seeing that painting a couple of years ago in the National Art Gallery in London, England. She said, I would have been surprised if it was not in the show of Goya portraits. In her visit to London she hoped it would be in the exhibition. She knew she would be visiting London but did not know if the dates worked for her to see it. They did. She did.
In her joy of recognition she was drawn to the oil painting, attracted again by its beauty. She remembered the painting as being about 5’ by 3’ and as having an ornate frame. There was such clarity, such colour, she remembered, and the facial expression of contentment.
Wendy wrote in an e-mail after our interview at the Eve Café:
The Boy in Red is 50 inches by 40 inches and it is of the son of the Count and Countess of Altamira.
I think I know why I loved this picture so much right from the age of about 5 and it never dawned on me before today —- he looks a tiny bit like me at a very young age.
I guess I am a bit of a narcissist!!
Bye for now,
Painting of Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga, 1788
“Striking and often unforgiving, Goya’s portraits demonstrate his daringly unconventional approach and remarkable skill at capturing the psychology of his sitters.” National Gallery London, bio of Francisco de Goya