French Art Shop

by | Apr 14, 2021 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 46 comments

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the French Art Shop.  I can’t tell you how over-the-moon I am to work with this French-based small business and share them with you.  As always, all words and opinions are honest and my own.

In a post earlier this week, I shared that if I were an heiress, I would become an art collector.  While I was referring to collecting works by masters and well-known artists at high-end auctions, I was sort of skipping over a current truth – I am an art collector now.  I might not be collecting Pissaros and Renoirs, but I am displaying my own works and collecting the works of artists I follow on Instagram and a few antique & vintage pieces I’ve bought at antique stores, markets, and online over the years.  In addition, I’ve been collecting “everyday art” for decades in the form of furniture, Civil War-era flatware, 100+-year-old letters, transferware dishes from the 1800s, and hand-stitched quilts.  It really all is art in one form or another.

But, in recent years, I have become more interested in collecting original paintings, specifically ones that are old and have the look and feel of museum pieces.  So, I was actually laughing with excitement as I hung this little gentleman, an original 1886 portrait of a Belgian schoolboy from the French Art Shop.

antique portrait | french art shop | miss mustard seed

I wasn’t sure where I would hang it at first as I carefully carried it around the house, holding it up against this wall and that, testing out possibilities.  In the end, it felt like the perfect piece for it was this dining room wall.  I love how the dark colors in the portrait balance out the softer colors of the mural and furniture.  It really is the perfect finishing touch and I smile every time I see him.  I can’t explain why this painting speaks to me so much except that I love his expression, soft eyes, and little schoolboy outfit.

French Art Shop | Antique Portrait | Miss Mustard Seed

I’m really looking forward to doing a study of him.  The French Art Shop listed the painting as Portrait de Garçon, so I’ll call him Garçon as well.  It seems fitting.

Update!  So, apparently, Garçon means “boy”, which I would’ve known if I had looked it up or I asked Jeff, who took French in school.  After this was pointed out to me, I asked Jeff, “Do you know what garçon means?”  “Yes, it means boy.”  I just laughed and then he asked with suspicion, “Why?  What did you do?”  So funny!  Anyway, I think our boy needs a name!  Any suggestions for a name for a handsome little Belgian boy?

French Art Shop | Antique Portrait | Miss Mustard Seed

As beautiful as the painting is, I was just as captivated with the back, where I could see the antique linen stretched by hand over an old wooden frame.  The gilded decorative frame it came in is beautiful as well.

French Art Shop | Antique Portrait | Miss Mustard Seed

It has a few chips in it, but that is pretty normal for old plaster and gilt frames.  I think it just adds to the character and story and all of the “defects” were clearly pointed out in the listing.

French Art Shop | Antique Portrait | Miss Mustard Seed

Now that I’ve introduced you to Garçon, I’d like to introduce you to Hanna and Paul, the two talented people behind the French Art Shop.

French Art Shop | Hanna | Miss Mustard Seed

Hanna is an American who has lived in Paris for the past 7 years with her French partner Paul.  She worked on antique buying tours for Americans visiting France, before starting the business – French Art Shop.

French Art Shop | Paul | Miss Mustard Seed

Paul and Hanna travel around France shopping for one-of-a-kind artwork to sell online to collectors around the world!  I mean, first of all, can they just carry me around in their pockets for a few days?  I know there is a lot of hard work involved in scouring out the best finds at good prices, but it just sounds like one of the best jobs in the world to me!  I wouldn’t mind climbing through barn rafters and waiting in long lines at estate sales when the scenery looks like this…

French Art Shop | French Countryside | Miss Mustard Seed

Anyway, Hanna and Paul clearly have a passion for beautiful artwork, and their eye for pieces that are both interesting and have high decorative appeal shows in the works they curate for their online shop.  They are specifically inspired by the ateliers of Paris, Paul’s family village in Normandy in the Calvados region, and impressionist works painted “en plein air” (outside) in France from the 1800s and early 1900s. They buy what they love to sell in the French Art Shop, but also take special requests from the clients.

French Art Shop | Antique Portrait | Miss Mustard Seed

I was also very impressed and pleasantly surprised with their prices.  I’ve browsed around online and at markets for antique paintings, specifically portraits, and they can run in the thousands.  The French Art Shop prices are particularly good considering the age and quality of the pieces, worldwide shipping is included, and, in most cases, the piece comes in a beautiful old frame.

French Art Shop | Antique Landscapes | Miss Mustard Seed

French Art Shop | Antique Still Life Painting | Miss Mustard Seed

They currently release new paintings about once a month and their next launch is April 19, 2021, at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST.  If you want to be notified when new paintings are listed, you can sign up for their newsletter HERE.  You can see a preview of their April paintings HERE, but this is one of my favorites…

French Art Shop | Antique Still Life Painting | Miss Mustard Seed

The French Art Shop is giving 10% off through June 30, 2021, to my readers!  Just use code “MISSMUSTARDSEED” when checking out on www.frenchartshop.com for 10% off.

Even if you don’t ever plan on purchasing antique European art, I would suggest following them on Instagram HERE!  As I said, I think they have an awesome job and it’s fun to follow their journey.  As an artist, I like to look at their finds and see if I might want to try a study of any of them.  Not only are they gathering paintings, but inspiration as well.

So, I’m curious, do you consider yourself an art collector?  What kind of art speaks to you?

46 Comments

  1. Karen Clark

    I love landscapes, particularly if it includes a lake. I few purchased a few. I’m really drawn to the old ones, I have two that were painted on boards. I love to imagine the life of the artist, we’re they able to earn a living, or just a hobby.

    As for Garcon, I think you were drawn to because you’re a boy mom. I suspect you saw a bit of your sons in him

    ((Hugs))
    Karen

    Reply
  2. Fran Harris

    Marian, I don’t know how much French you know, but garcon means boy just in case you didn’t know.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Well, clearly I don’t know very much French at all! I thought they named him! Well, maybe he needs a name…

      Reply
  3. Kristine

    I love the story behind all of this…and how you are not just scratching the surface, but creating a partnership that is a 3-way win: you, The French Art Shop, and your readers. Th extent of my fine art journey is a pair of prints I picked up at a garage sale for $1 each. They are framed, include the original glass, and appear to be images of life on a French estate. The frames need to be re-painted and both prints need new mats, and I will get that done one day! Imagine how surprised I was when I saw them on Ebay for around $250. The artist is Alfred Van Neste, and both prints are named Entree du Chateaux.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      What a wonderful find! And I agree, I am so glad I’ve learned about this business and Hanna and Paul through this partnership. It really is a great little shop and passion project.

      Reply
      • Jean M Clayton

        You could call him Jean, the French version of John…like John Doe.

        Reply
  4. Kathryn Casey

    I am officially an art collector! We have had an original icon in our home for some time now but this last month purchased a beautiful linocut relief print from a local artist and I found an artist on Instagram and took the leap to ask for a commissioned piece. It’s so joyful to bring these original pieces into my home and know I am supporting the arts. I dare say, you’ve probably been a big inspiration in all this!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, that sounds wonderful! I’m glad I’ve inspired you as I’ve been inspired by so many artists. It’s wonderful that we can pass inspiration around freely to each other.

      Reply
  5. Dana

    I only have a couple of artworks that are original. One was given to my parent on their wedding day and is not signed, though it was painted by a student at the Academy in Prague. The other is one by my friend Artist Jenn Ashton. Both hang proudly in my living rooms. Art speaks to you as an individual, it adds character and uniqueness to the spaces that we call our homes.
    PS. Good name for you Garçon is Henri

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Those pieces sound beautiful and yes, Henri is a good sturdy name! Thanks for the suggestion. It’s going to be hard to pick one!

      Reply
  6. Angela

    “Garcon” is such a beautiful sounding word that it “should” be a name!! I love this post. I hopped over to see a few of their works, and the site is wonderful. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Well, I thought so, too!

      Reply
  7. lesley Brown

    It also means ‘waiter’ in French. I think that Hercule is a beautiful French/ Belgian name for him.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, so funny! I’m surprised I didn’t learn that in Paris. I think so many people spoke English, I didn’t have to think about it.

      Reply
  8. SueA

    How about Antoine (ant’-twan)? Put a “Monsieur” (me’-syoe) before it for added dignity. He seems very dignified for a child.
    The frame is lovely–also dignified.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh yes, that is a good suggestion! Monsieur in front of anything makes it sound even better!

      Reply
  9. Addie

    Old soulful looking boy in the painting. When I was growing up we had a neighbor, a wonderful, kind man from Belgian.
    His name was Audrick. He was a painter too!!! He was a master craftsman and could fix anything. He believed in reusing and “making do with a little elbow grease”….as he put it. He had a son named Phillippe. When you said the boy was from Belgian I immediately thought of dear Audrick. Maybe one of those names would work for your boy?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I absolutely love this story and those names. He just might have to be an Audrick after the wonderful Belgian painter! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Jones

    I love the French masculine name of Pierre Claude.
    I love the painting! Thanks for introducing your readers to this great resource.

    Reply
  11. Amy

    How about Marcel? That was my aunt’s dog’s name because they got him while stationed in France! My art collection is more found objects than framed works. I love old iron work, from hinges and gates to ornate string holders and architectural medallions.

    Reply
  12. Jo-Ann

    Thanks for the information on The French Art Shop, definitely want to check it out. My suggestion for the boys name is Pascal, pronounced passcal, the cal is like Calvin. It means born at Easter.

    Reply
  13. Theresa Van Eck

    I vote for Matiss, a Belgian boy name and reminiscent of the French Artist, Henri Matisse.

    Reply
  14. Leigh

    le pépin – it means seed in French. So it has a link to your name and the meaning behind it, and it’s a lovely link to a small boy who will have grown into a strong man and have had his own little seedlings. And great grandseedlings!

    Reply
  15. Catherine ten Hertog

    I recently picked up a lovely oil, floral still life in it’s original frame and it had information on the back that it was painted in the Beaux Art ecole in Paris. I paid a whopping $3.00 for it.

    Reply
  16. Kathleen

    Absolutely love the painting of the little boy!! Yes, it just speaks to me too!! Love your blog, and appreciate you sharing your talents!!

    Reply
  17. Jane Allen

    I don’t think about myself as being an art collector but when I did a quick count of the original art in my home I have over 20 pieces…some simple like a cardinal painted by my mother in law, to pricier pieces..but none over the top. We choose the pieces because they spoke to us, took us to a special place or made us smile. I didn’t count decorative painting pieces, fine crafts, or my own art. To me art makes a house a home, it doesn’t have to be expensive just speak to you and give you joy!

    Reply
  18. Donna Thibodeau

    I buy from artist friends I admire and have traded for mine. Others are from a vacation spot or from an artist workshop where they sell their demos. All of my art brings joy and remembrance when I gaze at them.

    Reply
  19. MaryLisa

    How about Charles. My husband is French and it’s his name. I’m looking forward to checking on their site.

    Reply
  20. Babs

    Marian, you are taking us well beyond our borders! How exciting your new partnership is and thank you for bringing us along. I am so relieved that the chips in the beautiful frame did not bother you…perfection is highly overrated.
    I have purchased a local piece or two and do enjoy them. Since we are thinking of leaving the area, they will be a lovely reminder of our time here in Virginia.

    Reply
  21. Judy Karlson

    How about asking your boys and Jeff to think of a name? And/or some combination of: Jeff….Calvin….Marshall? Or just Calvin…Marshall…Shallvin? You four could have some fun with naming your new little friend in the frame!

    Reply
  22. Tina Reif

    Barns….barns….barns! Any season, any style…I love paintings of barns!

    Reply
  23. LuAnn

    The little boy in the painting looks like an “Edward” to me! In fact, looks like photos of my grandfather, Edward, when he was a young boy. I believe “Édouard” is the French version of the name.

    Reply
  24. Jane

    Oliver, that’s what came to me as soon as I saw his beautiful little face!

    Reply
  25. Rita

    I too would love a job like that. Just give me a month roaming the French country side for antiques and art – dream. I have a few vintage landscapes but they are not very old. Still I appreciate the time and all the brush strokes that went into the painting.

    Reply
  26. Miep

    They have indeed very nice and beautifull paintings 🤗 As for the boys name I would suggest Gilbert. It was my fathers name and he was a Belgian boy and it was his birthday yesterday 14/04. If he was still among us he would have become 101 years old. He was the best.

    Reply
  27. Margo

    I love the suggestion of Henri with the French pronunciation, of course! (On-ree)
    I also like Monsieur Jean-Claude Pierre.
    Such a fun post! I now have to go back to all the links!

    Reply
  28. Monique Denoncin

    How unique is this new post. I love his expression so much, sweet little boy eager to be let out off the chair to go play with marbles. Since I come from Belgium and also France, I thought about some of my family male first names from the period, here are some of them: Antoine, Paul, Francois ( with a cedilla under the C ), Léon, Pierre, Michel.
    I like Paul and also Michel. Let us know which name will be his.

    Reply
  29. Hana

    Thank you so much, Marian! Paul and I love this feature, and you really captured the same things we adore about the paintings — the story, imperfections, mastery of the painting… Such a wonderful collaboration for us, and Le Garcon looks absolutely at home in your gorgeous artful home. Merci mille fois. xo Hana et Paul

    Reply
  30. Jeanne

    I think Pierre Joseph would work too. I don’t know about continental French people but all the Louisiana French people in our family have Joseph or Marie (as the case may be) as part of their name. As I’ve done family history on that side of the family that is without exception as far as I’ve gone.
    I think you are inspiring. I always feel uplifted and more motivated to be creative by your posts, even the ones about cleaning!

    Reply
    • Amber

      It’s very common for (older) French families to include Joseph or Marie as a saint’s name. On my father’s side, Joseph was the second name and the godparent was often the 3rd name.

      Reply
  31. Beth B

    My friend painted my dog and I hung the picture beside my fireplace. It gives a completely different feel to it knowing that someone created it and took time with it. You don’t get that from a print from a craft store. Also, could you please find out where the purse came from in the picture of Hana? It’s so cute!!

    Reply
  32. Lori Riggs

    Always enjoy reading your blog posts. I had to look up French boy’s names. This one stood out to me…Julien which means ‘child born of love’.

    Reply
  33. Laura B

    I think Pierre is the perfect name for your little schoolboy! Thanks for introducing us to French Art Shop. I will definitely be shopping soon!

    Reply
  34. Jennifer

    I love your new painting-what a sweet-looking boy! I would love to be an art collector, unfortunately I have very little wall space in my current house. It was built in 2001 when they were putting in lots of windows and leaving very little wall space. Oh well! One day I will move and aspire to collect art.

    Reply
  35. Andrea

    You had me at french art. Love that you are supporting small businesses. I can’t wait to go shopping. I’ve been away from your blog for a while, but the new design is wonderful.

    Reply
  36. Kim

    I don’t know if you’ve named your boy yet, I’m just catching up with your posts. My Belgian brother-in-law is called Francois. Another one to ponder.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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