I grew up knowing three out of four of my grandparents. The exception was my paternal grandfather, who died when I was about six years old. I have only some vague memories of him. Because Father was most like him in looks and temperament, he got most of Grandfather’s knickknacks and keepsakes, including this painting of the man.
My photo does not do justice in conveying how large is the painting. It is beyond large; it is vast. What I remember Grandfather was an amiable fellow, not the austere man in the painting. He was a prominent attorney. Perhaps it was purposely painted as this way to don some law study. I imagine it best fitting over a massive fireplace.
Anyway, it gives me the creeps. As a boy it reminded me of something out of Dark Shadows. I didn’t want to walk by it in the night time, lest it start stretching like the paintings in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.
Because I am so much like Father who in turn was like his Father, I will probably inherit Grandfather’s painting. I don’t find him/it too unsettling anymore. The style of the frame doesn’t really go with the rest of the house, but I suppose that is one of its charms. I just don’t want it hanging where he can watch me sleeping.