I’m kicking myself for passing on a find today that I normally grab the minute I see it: a portrait.  Faces of people that were once loved by others.  Faces of people that have terrific life stories.  Faces of people whose names have been lost.  Faces of strangers.

I have a portrait of a lady that I love.  I mean the portrait – not the lady — I don’t know her.  But looking at her portrait I have imagined a life for her.  I tried hanging the portrait in our house, but my husband dubbed her “La Vieja” (the old lady).  He doesn’t really like portraits hanging in our home of people we don’t know.  I get that.  But I appreciated the painting as art.  When I looked at it, it took me somewhere, as art that touches you does.  But, making compromises in marriage is key, so I took her down.  My husband has given me free reign to all the decorating, so I want to take into consideration his opinions on things when he voices them.  I just can’t seem to get rid of her, though, so she sits leaned against the wall in my room, waiting.

Campaign Style Mirror

Here is “La Vieja” when I had her out and about for awhile.

I recently sold this portrait of a military man enjoying a drink.  Again, I don’t know him.  But it sparks my imagination.

Oil Portrait Military Man with Drink

I guess, on some level, I feel as if I’m collecting these portraits and “saving” these people from being lost.  I fear they will end up at Goodwill, or in the trash.  Instead, I feel like I can somehow keep their memory alive, even it it isn’t really their memory, but a new, imagined one.  Is that weird?  Probably.

To justify this behavior, I will say that I’ve been seeing portraits used in design lately!  Here are some examples (see… I can’t be that weird):

La Dolce Vita


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Wit & Delight

So what is your take on vintage portraits?  Would you hang one in your home?