1833. The story of a little painting
© Bruce Goodman 30 May 2020
Wendy Wharton had three children and not a great amount in her bank account to feed them. She worked part-time in a beauty salon. To get a few extra pennies she painted brightly coloured pictures of Mediterranean houses that had window boxes of geraniums. She had a small stall at the market on Saturdays. Her little works of art, usually painted on slabs of wood, were quite popular. Each cost five dollars. At one stage she increased the price and sales slumped, so she went back to selling them for five dollars each.|
Wendy’s great moment of glory came when the internationally renowned film star and model, the incomparable Magdalene Cullum, was about to pass by Wendy’s stall. Magdalene paused. She stopped. She purchased the five dollar work of art! It was a small painting of a house near the sea with a little sailing boat skimming in the sunshine. Wendy was rather fond of it herself. “Thank you. I hope it enjoys its new home,” said Wendy.
Several years later the same little painting appeared for sale online. It sold for over five thousand. Of course its value rested on the fact that it had been pre-loved by the internationally renowned film star and model, the incomparable Magdalene Cullum. Who wouldn’t want something, no matter how insignificant, once owned by Magdalene? Everything Magdalene touched turned to gold.
You can get a similar painting for five dollars down at the market on Saturdays. But it hasn’t been touched by a film star.
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