Detail of a painting by Ramón Casas Carbó.
The carnivals in Spain were outlawed in 1938 by Franco and restored in 1981. They end today, I think, in the same mock funeral painted in the picture. It is one of the only original paintings to remain at the Deering Estate. The rest of Charles Deering’s paintings are scattered. This hangs in a large ballroom which was a gallery at the time Charles Deering lived there.
Charles Deering was a businessman, philanthropist, artist and a serious art collector. He built the stone house to fill with some of his collection and had mansions in Sitges, Spain that housed more masterworks of great Spanish artists. In 1922 he had amassed a collection estimated at 60 million dollars. He also fostered the careers of noted artists such Anders Zorn and John Singer Sargent. An artist today may well cry, “Where is my Charles Deering?” You will know him by his mustache.
The Deering Estate’s old stone house has been called the most haunted in Miami Florida. I’m not sure about that but it does have an ancient pathway on the grounds you can walk. They have found traces of tribes who lived in the area dating about 10,000 years ago. It’s a lovely spot and a lonely stone house with walls that look forlorn for the art they once knew. It has a breathtaking view of the bay and an old hotel links with the main house. The hotel reportedly boasts a haunted bathroom and kitchen. Local artists have their work on display inside and there is an artist in residence on the grounds. It certainly is remote and there is a sense of longing in the buildings. Something lost. Love? Life? A really amazing art collection? At least this painting will remain and be remembered every Ash Wednesday.