I described one of my two favorite rooms of all times last night - the living room in my grandparents' (mother's parents) apartment . But I forgot to describe one of its most prominent features: the two paintings, each on opposite walls, facing each other.
One is of a snake smiling as an oyster opens below it, revealing a pearl. The other is of a naked woman in orange outline, with delineated areas of blue and white surrounding her.
Both are cubist. Both are by a painter, a friend of my grandfather's, named Michael Sollento, who gave them to my grandparents (mom's parents) as a wedding present in 1925.
Now when one grows up with art in a room one loves, one is apt to love the art and not even think much about its placement.. My cousin Barbara, from whom you've heard, did not think that the room matched the paintings, My mom was a bit embarrassed by them, especially when her numerous boyfriends saw them. I, on the other hand, had a most interesting time debating with both friends and boyfriends whether the lady in the painting had two or three nipples. The snake was a bit too smug for my taste, but I understood why it was smiling.
We still have the paintings on our wall(s) in the living room here, in Cherry Hill. I love them as much or perhaps more than I did then because they bring back the memories of that room.