Who Painted This?

October 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm (By Amba)

Victor Lorie was the brother of my great-great-grandmother.  His main claim to fame on the Web is on vile sites, as the recipient of an anti-Semitic 1857 letter from George Sand (search the page for “Lorie”).  Seems odd that she would have written such a letter to a Jew.  However, it is probably just a typo for the journalist Victor Borie (search the page for “Borie”), a friend of Sand and Chopin. How ironic.

Great-great-great uncle Victor was known in his day for heroically carrying a message from Osman Pasha of Turkey — whose portrait he also painted — through the besieging Russian legions to Queen Victoria.

But it wasn’t all work and no play:

I love that one of his names is “Libertus.”  According to his sister, my great-great-grandmother, Ida Lorie Kahn’s memoir, which is a photocopy of the original German in Gothic handwriting, with a typescript translation, their father was sympathetic to the radical side of the Revolution of 1848, and sheltered revolutionaries during the shooting in the streets of Frankfurt.  Probably the father was influenced by the French and American Revolutions and the Enlightenment, thus naming his son “Libertus.”

In other words, our family comes by our progressive politics* honestly.  Along with our libido.

*Yes, I have departed somewhat from the progressive politics. But this is like getting your nose fixed; it doesn’t change the genes.


  1. A said,

    How extremely cool to have such fascinating ancestry. Do you know who has the painting?

  2. amba12 said,

    No, only the date of auction! My brother-in-law the gastroenterologist/ art collector might have a subscription to one of those sites. Much more information is available to subscribers.

  3. Donna B. said,

    “gastroenterologist/art collector” made me giggle. My eyes skipped “collector” and my mind turned to the image I have of my esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Now I’m wondering why I didn’t get one of my colonoscopy?

    Why don’t they just make it easier for us all and call them topend-oscopy and bottomend-oscopy?

  4. amba12 said,

    My bro-in-law has long been interested in (among other kinds of conceptually adventurous art) body art such as that of Kiki Smith. He gave a talk to some artists once and showed them a scan of his brain and a video of his own colonoscopy. He was thinking of these images as a source of art thinking, even a kind of raw art in themselves.

  5. Donna B. said,

    The jarring thing about my esophagogastroduodenoscopy image is part of the scope itself. When I first saw it, I thought “I am going to die because that horrid looking thing is in my body” and finally realized what it was and that it wouldn’t be the cause of my demise.

    I can see medical images as art. I was completely absorbed in the images of my brain (CT and MRI) taken when my rather innocuous brain tumor was discovered. At that time, the only symptoms were spiking headaches probably not caused by the tumor and the technology did not allow me to have a copy.

    Years later when it had grown enough to cause more serious symptoms, I got digital copies and they are fascinating in numerous ways.

    We humans are fascinated with ourselves, aren’t we?

  6. amba12 said,

    Particularly with new views of ourselves.

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