The shocking truth behind Renoir & Co.,

When I bought a screen in a charity shop I got more than I bargained for!

As is frequently the case with charity shops, when you see something you want – regardless of whether you need it – you sometimes have to make that quick decision to buy it. If you walk away, intending to go back later, it will more likely than not have been snapped up by someone else. This was the case when I spotted a three panel screen in one of my favourite haunts.

The screen had 15 apertures, like a giant picture frame, to hold images. The screen had been renovated with each of the apertures featuring replicas of famous Impressionist paintings by the likes of Renoir, Monet and Pissarro. All very lovely as it stood, but, I thought it would be a great way of displaying some of my own artwork.

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A keen photographer I have been adapting my photographs for a while now, creating new images, several of which I have entered into my local camera club competitions. I have little enough wall space in my house as most of it is given over to my father’s paintings (click on the link above to find out more about those). So this screen I envisaged as a portable photography exhibition of my own work. I just needed to take out those French Impressionists (ideal for chocolate boxes but I’m not a fan). That was when I made the shocking discovery!

The original artwork was of a far more adult nature, and for reasons I can’t quite fathom, was still in place between Renoir and Co., and the cardboard backing. The original imagery (and beautifully printed on glossy photo paper) was of Indian carvings and illustrations of a sexual nature – the Karma Sutra I guess. I am not sure why these photos weren’t removed when the arty pictures were put in – they were hard to miss . So,  I took out the French Impressionists (which turned out to be from a wall calendar) and popped the saucy pics back in their place.

While I think the screen looks interesting with the original imagery I don’t actually plan on keeping them on show long term. Maybe I should hide them again behind my own photos in due course! But as unexpected bargains go – this one takes the biscuit…although there was that time I bought a small cupboard for £3, which turned out to have £1,000 secreted inside it – but that’s another story!!

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