04 April 2011

A lost Weiss/von Holst?

I have mentioned that my grandmother was aware of a picture of one of the sisters of her grandfather Frederick Weiss. Grandma thought it was a locket but it turned out to be a very small painting. It is of Caroline - one of the sisters I had no evidence for!

I have not yet seen it, but Grandma has described it to me. It's about 2 x 2 inches, and in Grandma's estimation is very well painted - she says it is like a photo, the realism is so good. She guesses that Caroline may have been around 20 years old in the portrait. The painting is kept in a special little box which seems to have been made especially for it. It clearly was someone's treasure. Caroline's?

I was thinking about the painting, whilst doing some housework. It suddenly occurred to me that Caroline's mother, Benigna, had a brother who was an artist. Theodor von Holst was an English romantic painter, and was Benigna's younger brother.

Family lore says that after Caroline's parents Charles and Benigna both died in Bombay their sons were sent to a military school somewhere in India and the daughters were sent home to England for their schooling. I don't think it is a stretch to think that an uncle might paint a miniature portrait of his niece...

I shall wait to see the painting.

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