Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Elfin Art

"Art is the triumph over chaos."
-John Cheever

I am particular about attention to minute detail, and for that reason I have long harboured a fascination for dollhouses. I passed endless hours as a child making miniature rolling pins, toilet rolls, pillows and rugs and guiding them into their respective parts of the wooden house I tended to. There was rarely an opportunity to buy any articles for dollhouses, so I was content to fashion them instead from discarded items I salvaged from Mater.
Once, on a whim to decorate the little living room walls, I thumbed through an art magazine and selected, at random, one scene reduced to dainty, tiny form. I carefully cut out the picture- which I now know to be one of Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer's most esteemed works- and pasted it to the cardboard wall. It was just the right scale to resemble a painting in a real house, and I was immensely pleased with my young self.
There was no shortage of surprise when some months later I happened upon a jumble of dollhouse fixtures in a sale and found that very same picture: it was framed perfectly and ready to be mounted onto the wall of a miniature house. I had not known such things existed, that one could purchase little elfin art to further the design of a dollhouse.
I concluded that my taste in fine arts was matched only by another's excellent taste in dollhouse design, wherein the two collided in a rare moment of good fortune.

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