Identify this painting

We have a print hanging in our living room. I assume it was originally of a painting, but I don’t know for sure. I would like to know the name of the painting and of the artist as well.

To describe the picture:

A young girl is sitting on wooden floorboards in a room in a house. She could be a ghost. She is looking through a book. A small pile of books is on fire next to her. There is a fireplace behind the books, which is empty. Above the fireplace is a large gold mirror that reflects blue sky.

Half the left wall of the room is gone. Past it, there is a field of ice, with a hot air balloon floating above it. Next to the gap in the wall is a tall, leafless tree. There is another figure of the girl looking out at the hot air balloon.

There is a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a wall, hung so that the tower is straight. In an alcove, there is a glimpse of a very large statue of a man’s head, done in white marble, wearing a green wreath.

On the right hand side of the room is a door, leading to a hallway. The hallway is full of water flowing in from the sea, which it leads straight out into. An ocean liner in the distance is heading towards the room.

Anyone recognise this picture?

Can you post a picture of the painting? Maybe if we can’t tell from the scene, we can tell from the style.

It sounds kinda surreal, but I don’t know surrealists from impressionists.

ETA: It sure sounds familiar. I wonder if it was ever used as dust jacket art.

Your description puts me in mind of an artist I first encountered in OMNI Magazine, back in 1980 (if memory serves. Possibly 1979). His name was (is) Donald Roller Wilson, and the fact that this name rolls out of my mind some thirty years after I last thought of him has to be significant.

Current images available on the internets seem to predominate toward chimps and dogs, but I recall seeing his work in at least two issues of OMNI, and he did seem fond of the technique of juxtaposing a photorealistic interior scene with an equally photorealistic exterior scene. Without the monkeys and doggies.

Jesus Christ, this! Is there any particular reason that you can’t link a photo of the painting?

Not every household has a digital camera. My own household is a case in point.

The picture is “Entre Les Trous De La Memoire” (“Between the Gaps of Memory”) by Swiss painter Dominique Appia.

Two things, Sandwood. First, welcome to the SDMB. I hope you enjoy the time you choose to spend with us.

Second, how the HELL did you know that? :smiley:

Very nice! I was thinking maybe it was cover art from Michael Whelan.

Thank you, I’m still all excited about taking that big step of de-lurking! :wink:

As for the painting: I’m by no means an art expert, I just happened to know that one. It’s Appia’s best-known one, and the description was very accurate. With less details given, I would have gone for either Dalí or Appia, those two are the first two painters that spring to mind given that the picture’s obviously very likely surrealist and seems to possess a big amount of dream-like elements and symbolism.

I had to google for the title, though, I’m horribly bad at remembering those.

ffs people

link it already! It’s like it’s the freakin’ 20th century around here or something!

Reminds me of the movie CORALINE.

Sandwood, that’s it! Thank you, I’m very happy to know that. I haven’t ever heard that artist’s name before. We got the picture in a poster shop.

Umm, yeah, upload a photo. That would have been a good idea. My daughter’s phone has a camera in it, but we don’t know how to get the pictures off the phone. But it never really occurred to me to try. I figured anyone who knew the picture would recognise a description.

This is a seriously old thread but if the people that posted it and the people that responded to it are still active… THANK YOU! From the depths of my heart thank you!

I had a poster print of this work for several years. Never seemed to be able to find its title or see a signature for the artist in the work. It was never an issue to stress over as it was mine to look at and I figured I’d get around to seriously looking it up one day. Then (long story super short) it got stolen. I have spent a day here and there over the last year trying to find a way to describe to Google a piece of surreal art work… the search results have been unique to say the least! FINALLY a search for “surrealism art print of girl in front of fireplace with book” and 4th line down in the images… there it is with a link to this thread. So THANK YOU! I’m ordering a new print now!

Not every household has the 20th century!

Aye; this is part of what’s great about the Straight Dope Message Board: we answer lots of whacky questions and then the answers are around forever!

As an aside, I don’t know if it existed in 2010, but if you take a digital picture and ask TinEye about it, it’ll usually be able to find matches.

Though I suppose that won’t work if all you have is memories.

Googling, with the name of the painting, I learned that a print is less than $10 on amazon, but about $20 on ebay. It certainly looks cool. I’m tempted to order it just to see it full sized.