89-year-old grandmother Magdalene Jourdan has been painting for over 60 years.
Last Thursday was to be the first time she had hosted her own art reception featuring 43 of her paintings. Paintings that she had spent years capturing and painstakingly putting together.
But when Thursday rolled around, and the 89-year-old got ready for the show that was put on in the Thompson Public Library in the US, nobody turned up. Now, instead of the paintings going viral for their beauty and their realism, a photo of a distressed Magdalene at the art showing has broken many-a-heart across the world.
A photo posted on Twitter by Magdelene's granddaughter Lily, shows a visibly distressed 89-year-old and carries the caption, "came home from an away game & my grandma went to her art showing and no one [sic] went. She called herself foolish".
What the family didn't expect was for Lily's tweet to be re-tweeted over 12,000 times, with many users admitting the found the story so sad they would go to her showing lest she had another one.
Lily's sister, and Magdalene's other granddaughter, Jenean, told BuzzFeed News that she was working at the time of the art showing and that her sister had a softball game.
“She felt like a fool,” she said.
She admitted only two people from the town came to the event while Jenean’s uncle and parents also attended.
Although the public library had set up a Facebook event to promote the show, it did appear that no-one was actually invited. Jenean admitted that in such a small town of just over 9,400 people, this lack of advertising probably led to such a poor turn-out.
Granddaughter Lily followed up her heartbreaking tweet with another, tweeting a photo of her grandma’s artist statement where she explains her passion for painting and where she draws inspiration from.
"I just turned 89. why could I not get back and teach young generations to notice the beauty around us?!
"The world is so full of violence and ugliness. Let’s counter balance it!" she wrote.
One of Magdalene's paintings.
Jenean also told BuzzFeed News she had not spoken to her grandma since the show, as her grandma has not responded to her phone calls. Jenean believed her grandmother was probably sleeping because she was so upset on Thursday.
“She’s pretty upset because it's a big unveiling,” she said. “It would’ve been a bigger deal if people had showed up.”
There is no word yet from family whether Magdalene will put on another show. But one thing is certain: she now has a greater support crew.
Painting can heal the mind. But what do you do to look after yours?