Monday, July 05, 2010

Other people, other times

We're going to make some new friends today. First, let's meet Marguerite in Belgium.

This "Portrait of Marguerite" was painted by Fernand Khnopff in 1887. Marguerite was Fernand's sister and his favorite model. It was discovered after Khnopff's death that he often worked from photographic images that he had taken of his sister.  Marguerite was probably very grateful for this, since standing like this for hours was really boring.  Notice how she is glancing at a television to her left.

The eternal question: What To Read Next.  "The Bookworm" was painted in 1850 by Carl Spitzweg, a German. I have a tendency to fall off things (which is why my computer chair has a seat belt), so this type of bookcase would be quite dangerous for me.

I don't know the title of this painting, but it was painted by one of the leading Finnish painters of the 19th century, Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905).  Beautiful colors, I think. This is how I always dress when I take a book out on the patio.

This is a detail from the painting "Woman Combing A Child" by Bihari Sándor (1855-1906), a famous Hungarian painter from Budapest. I'm wondering what the bowl is used for. My speculations are probably best left unsaid.

"Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary", 1878, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jeanne Samary was a famous comedic actress and also a lover of Renoir's.  If you enjoy good historical fiction, you can read about Renoir, Samary and others in Susan Vreeland's "Luncheon of the Boating Party".  Check out Vreeland's other books as well.

Luncheon of the Boating PartyGirl in Hyacinth BlueThe Forest Lover

Let's end this with a bang - "Judith" by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).  Now you just know there's a story behind this woman, right? 

Judith was the Old Testament heroine who saved the city of Bethulia from a siege by General Holofernes.  She is the subject of the biblical Book of Judith. If you were able to see this entire painting, you would see that Judith is holding the head of Holofernes in her left hand.  She removed the head of Holofernes from his body after getting him drunk and seducing him.  You go, girl!

On that blood-thirsty note, today's art lesson concludes. Whoever said art isn't interesting?

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