'Do you have any books on Peter Paul Rubens?"
I looked up to see a handsome older man. He wore a white seersucker suit (AKA, the 'Southern Suit') with a white shirt, topped with a silver blue tie that matched his eyes. His white hair was well styled.
"Sir, I'm sure I have something on Rubens. Lets go to the computer and I'll look in my inventory."
I punched in the artist's name and pushed the keyword search button.
"Are you a Rubens fan?" he asked.
"Well, I'm more a van Gogh fan." I answered.
"I bought a Rubens painting at an estate auction and want to see if I was ripped off." he told me.
I stared at him not knowing if I heard right.
"You bought a Rubens? May I ask how much you paid for that?"
I knew it was a nervy question but I really wanted to know!
He just threw back his head and laughed.
"Um, you're not going to answer, are you?" I smiled at him. He ignored me.
"Which one did you buy?"
"The Little Daughter."
Okay, let's stop right here so I can tell you that the first thing I did when I got home that evening was to go to google and search that painting. Now, I do not know much about Rubens. I know he was one of the great Masters of art. I know that he painted in the 1600's. And I know he painted in Baroque style. That's it. I did not know he painted lots and lots of portraits of little girls. I was not able to ascertain for sure which this gentleman had purchased, tho I am leaning toward this one:
I came to the conclusion that it might be this painting because that is, indeed, Rubens' daughter, painted when she was six years old.
Now this is the thing; the gentleman told me the artist's signature was on a certificate fastened to the back of the portrait. In fact, he said it was ripped. I know for a fact that the royal family of England owns a Rubens. I have a feeling Rubens signed it in the front lower corner..in paint! I also think if you are purchasing an authentic painting by one of the world's Masters, you would have it verified by an expert. and if it is offered to you for no less than a fortune, YOU ARE PROBABLY BEING HAD!
Okay, I found this man some books and you know what he asked??
"Can you copy the pages for me so I don't have to buy the books?"
You are telling me you just bought a Rubens painting and you can't afford a $29 book??
"No sir, we don't provide that service." I tell him.
He pointed to an image of a biography of the artist. We did not have it in stock and he asked me to order it. Which I did. But not before I noticed that this gentleman, this fine, fine gentleman with the white suit and the silver blue tie and the perfectly styled hair, this gentleman who has just told me he has purchased a Rubens, had the nastiest, filthiest, ragged fingernails I have ever seen on an adult. Disgusting, black, dirt crusted nails.
Somehow, I do not think he purchased a real Rubens. But who am I to judge?
Week Three Summary
3 years ago