More than fifteen years ago, I sent this portrait as an entry for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters´ annual exhibition in London. I delivered the canvas myself at the Mall Galleries. Afterwards I had no opportunity to pick it up and an acquaintance from London went to fetch it for me. Then the painting was stored for almost over a year at her home. When I had to be back in England for an important commission, I collected it from her place and continued my trip as I was heading to West Sussex. I travelled by train, the “Southern”. Distracted as I sometimes can be, my thoughts must have been so absorbed by the imminent meeting of the new client. So, what do you think? I got off the train and forgot about the painting! It remained in the train. When in the evening I realised my stupidity, immediately I called the train company, went to the lost-and-found office at Victoria station a number of times. I was desperate, but all my efforts were in vain. The portrait never showed up.
My guess is that the painting was auctioned off, as lost property usually is auctioned after a certain length of time … or, maybe, a member of staff liked it and took it home after the mandatory waiting period. But more likely it was simply destroyed, because at that time the paranoia about unattended luggage in public transport had just reached its first peak.
Somehow, should anyone ever recognize this painting than I would much appreciate being contacted. In return, that person will receive a portrait of my hand.