It was a couple of years ago when I bought that painting in a local consignment shop. I was browsing through the pictures when it caught my eye. The colours in the landscape were a perfect fit with the shades I had just painted in the TV room. I think I paid about 5 or 10 euros for it, took it home and sat it on the floor by the fireplace.
Several weeks later, I finally got around to hanging it up. Clumsily I nailed a hook to the wall and then grabbed the painting. As I fumbled with the cord on the back, I realized there was something written up in the corner. A small word, written in capital letters.
Suddenly, this landscape painting that I liked became almost toxic to touch. The plumes that I took for trees, I now saw as bomb blasts. The white clouds were really smoke from the canons. The reds, blood and earth. And the faces, I see two now, watching from behind it all.
That one small little word changed everything about the picture.
I asked you what you thought about this painting because I, myself, am not sure what to do with it.
It scares me to look at it for too long. I start hearing the sounds of war and when I think about the people who have lost their lives in battles like these and unlike these, my heart aches and I feel that there will be no end to any tears I shed.
Living where we are, it's possible this was painted by someone who actually lived through the bombings of WWII. Perhaps even someone who saw first hand the combat, the death, the pain that that war caused. It's possible they used this canvas to get those images out of their head, to release the chaos going on in there. For this reason alone, perhaps I should keep it hanging up.
So tell me, I need to know, is it still beautiful, this painting?