I collect old portraits, mainly from ebay. They are usually damaged in some way, as that is sadly, the only way I can afford them. Here is my latest one. It’s sort of creepy isn’t it?
It looks late Victorian judging by its quality and dress of the sitters. It’s only guess work, but they look like siblings. I can’t quite make out whether the child on the right is male or female! (S)he appears to have long hair but that was often the fashion with young Victorian boys. I usually give the people in my portraits nicknames. The girl on the left looks like a Sybil. The one on the right, whom I have decided is a boy while writing this, he looks like a Bertie.
As with all the portraits I collect, I was attracted to its resonance (not just the low price as no-one else wanted to bid on it!). There’s something not quite right about it! Had they been saccharin, Millais style children, I wouldn’t have looked twice at them. There is something peculiar about how they are not engaging with the viewer, or each other, or anything for that matter. There is just a vacant stare, a sadness, a sense of hopelessness about these children.
I hate to say it as it is now living in my house, but it feels…haunted!