An un-named school teacher in Concord California sent Pierre de Rosemont a painting of a weeping child that an un-named child in her kindergarten class had done. When Pierre opened the package, he was startled, then moved to tears by the pathetic image he held in his hand. Immediately, he changed the name of his gallery to
THE WEEPING CHILD
This infamous gallery was located at 54 Rue de Rivoli. For three years it was the most popular gallery in Paris. Then came the curse. With the first five painting came a biography. As it turns out, the Weeping Boy was….A Weeping Girl….who hid in the closet because her mother only wanted her brother to become a famous artist. This is why the child is crying. Her mother does not love her. To make matters worse, the mother makes her dress like a Tomboy, lest her femininity compete with hers. Her hair was kept short, and she was made to go about in boys clothing. Her peers laughed at her at school, which only added to the depth of her work that were done in a closet by flashlight. Pierre was concerned that she have enough batteries. He was a millionaire, and the teacher got thirty-percent.
If sales ould not get more brisk, a elderly Catholic woman claimed one image was shedding – real tears! The rumor of this stigmata caused devout Parisians to pile bouquet of roses outside the gallery with votive candles. Many notes were left.
“We love you weeping child – even if your mother doesn’t! She is a cruel – bitch!”
On March 15, 1952, several fires broke out. Fireman reported they found weeping child paintings un-touched at the core of the conflagrations. They were crying – real tears! A Catholic Bishop was summoned to investigate. His holiness announced there was a Devil’s Curse at work here – and ordered the gallery closed – for the good of the people!
“Whomever is doing these paintings is in league with Satan!”
The gallery owner sent the teacher clippings from the newspaper!”
“You have to stop her before all Paris is set ablaze!”
Taking the waif aside, the teacher told her, if she did not stop painting she would tell her brother – who would tell his mother!
“Oh please! Don’t tell my brother. He is as cruel as can be. My mother might beat me!”
And, that was that! The success of this anonymous child and her painting were a flash in the pan! At seven….she was a has-been! To top it off, she never saw a dime. She was utterly ripped off. But, she did not care. In her only message to the world, she said;
“I don’t do my paintings for money. I do them to bring comfort to all the unloved children of the world!”
I sent Sydney Morris a letter stating I was a promoter of the waning work of my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton, therefor I get to say, write, and do almost anything, as long as it increase sales. As long as my nieces realize some profits, I am happy! And, there is no set promotional time limit! I laugh in your face – MORRIS!
On 5 September 1985, the British tabloid newspaper The Sun reported that an Essex firefighter claimed that undamaged copies of the painting were frequently found amidst the ruins of burned houses. By the end of November, belief in the painting’s curse was widespread enough that The Sun was organising mass bonfires of the paintings, sent in by readers.
Steve Punt, a British writer and comedian, investigated the curse in a BBC Radio 4 production called Punt PI. The conclusion reached by the programme, following testing at the Building Research Establishment, is that the prints were treated with a varnish containing fire retardant, and that the string holding the painting to the wall would be the first to deteriorate, resulting in the painting landing face down on the floor and thus being protected, although no explanation was given as to why no other paintings were turning up unscathed.