“Charlotte Sophia”, one of my favorite paintings has found a home in Finland. It is with sadness that I part with her, but also with happiness as I know she will be loved and cared for. She is a special child to me.
The story of Charlotte Sophia goes like this. Someone whispered the name “Sophia” into my ear. Later came “Charlotte”. In my minds eye I could see she was a brunette, somewhat mysterious and most definitely a very special girl. She had something to tell me. I tried to listen carefully. I thought maybe this girl really existed before in real life and is now visiting me in Spirit form and requesting that I paint her. After some research on the internet I found out that indeed there existed a woman called “Charlotte Sophia”, and she was no less than the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. She was born in Germany in 1744 and died in 1818. She married King George the III of Great Britain and they had 15 children. They were very much in Love.
Unfortunately King George suffered from mental illness later in life and this terrified the Queen. When he became ill he also became violent and his whole character changed. At that time one of the Queen's attendants, overheard her moaning to herself with "desponding sound": "What will become of me? What will become of me?"
Her story is sad but also uplifting. She founded orphanages and the education of women was of great importance to her. She ensured that her daughters were better educated than was usual for young women of the day. She was also a patron of the Arts, she had many paintings hanging on the walls of her Castle. I admire her life story and her strength to overcome adversity.
The lady (Mia in Finland) who recently bought the painting had no knowledge of the Story behind my painting “ Charlotte Sophia.” In fact, this is the first time I tell the story of her. What I find incredibly fascinating is that Mia, wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and said she had had a dream about this painting and felt compelled to her. Her dream went like this:
“I often have busy dreams. In this dream we were fleeing with a few other people (I don't know who these other people were or why we were in a flight). We came out of an old stone castle with very high gray stone walls. There was a lot of portraits inside the castle, among others. Charlotte Sophia. When we got out of the building I found myself in a narrow moat. The water was just up to my navel. From the water, cranberry-like fish climbed to the other side and they continued along the ground walking on their stomachs. I was asked to follow. I woke up as the clock rang. The sleep was in no way distressing, but perhaps rather exciting and I had the feeling that everything was going well.”
Is it mere coincidence that she had a dream of Charlotte Sophia, or did she really visit her in her dreams?
I don’t believe in coincidences!
“Näen usein vauhdikkaita unia. Tässä unessa olimme pakenemassa muutaman muun ihmisen kanssa (en tiedä keitä nämä muut ihmiset olivat tai miksi olimme pakosalla). Tulimme ulos vanhasta kivilinnasta, jossa oli erittäin korkeat harmaat kiviseinämät. Linnan sisällä oli paljon muotokuvatauluja, mm. Charlotte Sophia. Kun pääsimme ulos rakennuksesta kahlasimme ulkopuolella olevassa vallihaudassa, joka oli kapea ja enemmän ojamainen kuin sellainen laakea vallihauta. Vettä oli vain napaan saakka. Vedestä nousi karpinnäköisiä kaloja toiselle reunalle ja ne jatkoivat maata pitkin kävellen vatsaevillään. Pyysivät seuraamaan. Heräsin tähän kellon soidessa. Uni ei ollut millään tavalla ahdistava, vaan ehkä ennemminkin vain jännittävä ja minulla oli tunne, että kaikki menee hyvin.”