Vincenzo Migliaro, famous painter {Tuesdays with Tina, part 2}

This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Tuesdays With Tina

Tuesdays with Tina

If you missed the first part of this story, you can catch up here.

I left off last week promising that I would tell you the story about my grandfather’s sister making him eat the same thing for three days.
Nonno (‘grandfather’ in Italian) was a relatively picky eater, and one dish he really did not care for was rice and cabbage. One day his sister had cooked just that for their dinner. When he arrived home and saw what was for dinner, he refused to eat it. His sister, nonplussed, set his dish aside and remarked, “Fine. If you do not want to eat this, you do not have to eat.” Nonno left the dinner table hungry that night.

The next night he arrived home from work quite famished. He couldn’t wait to eat dinner! What do you think his sister served him? You guessed it! Rice and cabbage. Again, he refused to eat it and again his sister sent him away from the table hungry.

The next night, when he asked what was for dinner, she served him the same dish for the third night in a row. His hunger would not allow his pride to win. He reluctantly reached for the plate. When she saw that she had broken his stubbornness, she threw the three-day-old food away and cooked him a fresh plate of rice and cabbage.

Want to hear the funny part? Rice and cabbage became one of his favorite meals!

And that is why my grandmother remarked that a sister’s love is different than a mother’s love, because a mother could never let a child go hungry for three days! Mamma mia! Impossible!

Resuming the interview…

Tina: His sister was very strict, very severe, she commanded his respect. And to think that she was only 10 years older than he was.

Me: So when his sister died, did he lose touch with his brother-in-law (her husband?)

Tina: Oh no! They kept in touch because they were fond of each other…

Me: …but he went to live with Uncle Vincenzo? [This uncle, for whom he was named, was a famous painter.]

Tina: First he went to live with the mother of a friend … he drifted for a while…

Me: …so he didn’t go live with another relative? An aunt…?

Tina: No. I don’t know the whole story but in the end, he went to live with this uncle. This uncle, Vincenzo, had two nieces who were the daughters of his sister Aldagisa. She died in the 1908 earthquake of Messina, along with thousands of others. He never did marry, so he took in these two girls. My father was the son of his brother, but for whatever reason, he paid more attention to these two nieces than he did to his nephew. They never married so when they grew up they were two spinsters: Aunt Lucia and Aunt Margherita. Who knows? My middle name might be after this aunt! This uncle was also very severe. Everyone called him “Il Maestro” (the Master). At 7:00 sharp dinner had to be on the table. “Maestro, it’s ready!” and he would sit down to eat.

So my father, living at this uncle’s house, would watch him paint and eventually he started messing around on canvases. The uncle, seeing that my father had talent, let him work on some stuff, but never gave him much credit. He did a copy of a head of a tiger, a copy of a rooster…I remember having seen this painting.

Me: Nonno?

Tina: Yes, nonno’s painting.

Me: Oh! I thought Zio Gianni (Uncle John) painted those.

Tina: Zio Gianni painted similar paintings too! He was named after my father’s father.

After a while, the Maestro would allow my father to paint the painting and at the end he would sign it. Since they had the same first and last name, the Maestro did not encourage my father’s talent. He didn’t want their artwork to get confused. He was a little selfish in this. He never let my father believe that he was good but my father realized that he must have been good enough for the Maestro to sign his name to HIS painting!

I found a short wikipedia article on this great, great uncle and two of his paintings.

vincenzo migliaro  migliaro_vincenzo-piazza_mercato

To be continued…

Series Navigation<< I Nonni {Tuesdays with Tina, part 1}{Tuesdays with Tina, part 3} >>

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

5 thoughts on “Vincenzo Migliaro, famous painter {Tuesdays with Tina, part 2}

    1. Interestingly, the artistic streak followed in the male line: not only my grandfather but also my uncle was a good painter (I have his painting on my mantel) and my brother is talented as well. (He actually took art in high school; I avoided it like the plague). I cannot even draw decent stick figures. Seriously.

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