Friday, October 13, 2006

I Don't Know Anything About Art . . .

. . . but I know what I like when I see it. Art aficionados tend to laugh at people who make such comments, but I know what they mean. I can’t begin to tell you why I love this picture. It hangs in the front hall and I pass it first thing every morning as I go to bring in the newspaper. It always brings a smile to my face. It is a painting of the city hall in Louvain, Belgium, and I love the juxtaposition of the old architecture with the kind of funky modern perspective. And the hay wain.

I first saw it in the room in which Ernie’s uncle, Monsignor Ernest, spent the last of his ninety plus years. Monsignor had spent some of his seminary years in Rome and later studied at Louvain. Imagine, he came from a farm in Iowa to the sophistication of Europe in the twenties and thirties. He wrote long journals, which Ernie edited, describing life in the seminary and the political turmoil in Europe.

He was a special favorite of Ernie’s. In fact, Ernie was born on the day of Monsignor’s First Mass, which is how he got his name. He was going to be Loras. Hm. Ernest, Loras: Loras, Ernest.

After Monsignor’s death we had the picture re-framed and hung it in its present spot. About ten years ago, we visited Louvain, or Leuven as it is now, and saw this edifice and many other impressive buildings. I am delighted to have this picture to remind me of a lovely city and young man who studied there.

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