Patience is a virtue. It’s a virtue I lack – I hate to wait. When I was young my mother would frequently admonish me with “good things come to those who wait.” I heard that quote so often I became curious as to its origin: was it something created by my mother to appease my impatience or was it a legitimate proverb? I discovered that the saying was made well known by Violet Fane in her poem “Tout Vient A Qui Sait Attendre” which translates as “All hoped-for things will come to you, Who have the strength to watch and wait…”
I have been chasing Hubert longer than many people have been married. In a sense my relationship with Hubert has been like a marriage. We’ve been together in good times and bad, Hubert has seen me through births and deaths, in sickness and in health but, thankfully, Hubert and I have now come full circle before death did us part. What once began as a chance encounter with a single beautiful etching gradually deepened into something much more intense. I grew to admire and appreciate Hubert’s skill and obvious passion for his work. I began this blog not only to seek his identity but also as a love note to this artist who will never know me but whose art has affected my life and brought joy to me and many others as evidenced by the comments and emails I’ve received cheering me on in my quest. It was always my desire to bring Hubert out of the shadows – I want the world to know who this talented, gifted artist really is. Chasing Hubert has bestowed upon me countless valuable life lessons, chief among them the merit of patience and fortitude. And, after 30 years of chasing, I have finally discovered the truth in Violet’s optimistic verse (and Mom’s admonishment) that good things truly do come to those who wait. Now, thanks to mon nouvel ami Etienne, I have been able to realize one of my life’s dreams. That long-awaited “hoped-for thing” has finally come: HUBERT’S IDENTITY!! Introducing…..
The real hero of this story is Etienne, a French researcher and blogger of forgotten 19th and 20th century artists. Etienne and I began corresponding in 2016 throwing out different theories about Hubert’s identity. None panned out until recently, while researching the artist Auguste Brouet for his blog, http://www.auguste-brouet.org/en/ he came upon a print signed Leon Salles-Hubert strongly pointing to the painter-etcher Leon Salles (1868-1952.) When I received Etienne’s email the print was undeniably that of Hubert’s. However, there were still many unanswered questions: if Leon Salles is the artist where did the name Hubert come from and why are so many of his prints signed Hubert while others are signed Leon Salles? Upon further investigation Etienne found the most compelling piece of evidence an article in the September 17, 1926 issue of the French newspaper la Vigie de Dieppe which stated “whether signed Menager or Hubert all bear the the mark of the same talent, both vigorous and soft, and the same knowledge, sound and refined, because they are all authored by Mr. Leon Salles.” Why then did Leon Salles choose the name Hubert? Most probably because Hubert was his mother’s maiden name. Artists at that time often struggled to survive. To supplement their income they sometimes produced works of a more commercial nature. In the case of Leon Salles, he would utilize his mother’s maiden name Hubert to sign his lesser works in order to differentiate from his more important works such as those he exhibited in the Salon (famous annual art exhibition in Paris.)
After all this time I must say Hubert does not disappoint. His story is as captivating as his art. More about his life to come….Merci beaucoup, Etienne!