In a recent sale by auctioneer Dominic Winter, there were a number of lots sold from Paddy’s estate. The full list with sale prices can be found at this link. This drawing appears to have sold for £200.
The sale included pictures and books, and one drawing (originally thought to be) by Paddy of a woman, perhaps past her prime, looking forlornly into a mirror and maybe seeing her younger self, or has she been stood up and sees her younger rival staring back at her out of the mirror?
Described as …
489 * Fermor (Patrick Leigh, 1915-2011). Room interior with seated female figure, pen and ink on paper, some correction fluid, unsigned, 35 x 50 cm (13.75 x 19.75 inches)
It is unsigned but does include some Greek lettering which I can’t make out. Perhaps one of you can help? See comments below about the origin of this drawing!
A typical Minos Argyrakis scene. The irony is that correctly attributed and placed in a Greek sale, it would have fetched a substantially higher price.
In answer to Nicolas’ question, whilst I couldn’t say whether they were friends, Argyrakis was very much part of Paddy’s social set in Greece, and they would almost certainly have been acquainted
“maybe seeing her younger self, or has she been stood up ”
There’s several pointers to the first alternative:
1 The artist makes it appear that the passing of time is literally touching her (the pendulum).
2 The pianist (the boy Eros) is playing the Blue Danube; behind him is the figurine of a girl dancing.
3 The picture above her head shows a young woman in a Victorian/Edwardian ball gown with a dashing young Austrian man (possibly an officer).
4 They got married: their closeness in the picture would otherwise have been improper! (Perhaps they danced the Blue Danube at their wedding.) There are two framed photos on the piano, the chandelier is like a peal of ringing bells and the balcony swans are traditional symbols of monogamous fidelity.
5 The oval portrait shows the young man later in life – but not more than early middle-aged, younger than the woman is now.
6 This suggests she is a widow – an impression reinforced by the image in the mirror. This is not of a contemporary young rival who has lured her husband away: the long ringleted hair is how her own hair would have looked in her youth.
7 Would have looked indeed, the first time she let it down in front of her new husband – given also that the moon is up and the time is a quarter to midnight, I think everything points to this being her wedding anniversary and that she has dressed up to remember that first night.
A melancholy picture! I shall be in tears if I look at it much longer!
Minos Argyrakis (1920 – 1998) was a Greek artist, painter and illustrator. Was he a friend of Paddy’s, perhaps?
The decoration on the ironwork of the balcony (swans) is typical of those seen in the streets of Kardamili on houses of a certain age (late 19th early 20th c.?) and the view of sea and mountains could well be the Messenian peninsula as seen from Mani.
It is indeed Minos Argyrakis , and in fact if I am not mistaken whoever purchased this thinking that it was from Paddy’s pen has been some what diddled. The reason Minos Argyrakis’ name is there is vecause he drew it. He was a painter who died in 1998 and was friends of Ghika and therefore probably Paddy. He also wrote a book entitled “Travels in Greece”. Here is his translated wiki entry : http://www.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=el&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fel.m.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FΜίνως_Αργυράκης
Thos – good research. I will amend the post!
the greek lettering is Minos Argirakis (hope I could see propperly)