Paintings by Jan and Cora Gordon in Glasgow
My favourite of the three is "The Gypsy Singer," partly because I have an etching of the same scene and partly because the context is colourfully described in one of the Gordons' books, "Misadventures with a Donkey" (1924). The scene is set in Puerto Lumbreras (south-east Spain), where Paco, the chief of police, plays guitar at José’s place. A character called Pepe Macho was "perched on a superior packing-case high above us”. Gordon also noted a decoration on the wall: “some wandering sign-painter had depicted clumsily enough the figure of a semi-nude woman running with a bottle in her hands, her body wrapped round with a flag to advertise some popular brand of anisado.” The anisado lady is shown in the etching of this scene, but has been removed from the large painted version in Glasgow.
The Cora Gordon painting is a landscape, "The Village on the Hills." This is actually a view over Najac on its ridge above the Aveyron River. The beauty these days of Google earth is that viewpoints can be found to approximately match where old images were once made. Here below is one that shows the view from below the Najac Castle, overlooking the town laid out along its ridge to the east.
There is another picture by Cora Gordon of Najac, in the Edinburgh University collection ("The Castle, Najac"). This one shows a rather gloomy view from the base of the castle hill (to the left in the image below) looking towards the East.
All four of the paintings discussed above can be seen on the BBC "Your Paintings" site.
Many thanks to John Yates and colleagues for their cheerful and professional help! The Glasgow Museum Resource Centre is an impressively well-organized facility with a welcoming approach and I highly recommend a visit.
P.S. Seeing "The Gypsy Singer" reminded me of listening to flamenco in Almeria. This evening, taking advantage of our temporary stranding in Scotland, we watched Ricardo Garcia's very enjoyable flamenco show at the Fringe.