Present Mood, Introspective

I have always liked this image.  It speaks to me…

Arab Mendicant in Meditation Painter, Charles Camino, French b.1824 – d.1888, watercolor over traces of graphite on cream, slightly textured wove paper .

From the description of the Walters Art Museum:

“In this work, the artist depicts the figure in such a way that most of his face is obscured, creating a sense of mystery. Everything we know about the character of this man is expressed though his posture, clothes, and objects, like his bowl containing a few coins. Very little is known about Camino’s training; he visited Algeria in the early 1850s, which inspired the art he made in the decades that followed.”

The past couple years have been a time of transition.  Those can be tough on a soul.

Interior of a Mechanic’s Workshop

Anthelme Trimolet (Anthelme Claude Honoré Trimolet, born 8 May 1798, Lyon – died 17 December 1866, Lyon) from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.

I have stared at this painting for quite some time.  There is a lot to unpack from this one if you have any interest in hand tools.  This image is of a very organized workshop of a master craftsman plying his trade in the early 19th century.  I feel he is consulting with a client about a commission they are undertaking and discussing the finer details.  Click the image for a larger version and enjoy.

William Sydney Mount, another pointless art excursion

My strange tendency, as an art-admirer, is to sometimes over-analyze a painting, not only as the Art itself, but also as a documentation of time and place.  In historical paintings, it’s fun to look for the details and pick up some lost history along the way.  There may be interesting clues in what the artist chose to depict … or not.

rightleft

By William Sidney Mount.

Anybody else notice the left-handed set-up?  Makes me wonder if the artist or model didn’t know the violin well.  Although I expect it would be rare, I think it’s just possible a self-taught individual might learn this way.  It’s a great picture and study but looks like a mirror image if you are intimate with the violin.  Maybe the clue is in the title Left and Right.

This got me thinking about another of his excellent works, The Banjo Player. I had to look again but I seemed to recall it as a lefty too.  And sure enough, a lefty.

The Banjo Player

The Banjo Player

The Sweeney style banjo strikes me as legitimately left-handed as the drone string is reversed.  As a folk instrument it’s easier for me to imagine some variety in design and setup.  But really, there’s not much point in this discussion other than some odd notes about two paintings I’ve thought about for some time now.  If his art appeals to you,  a lot more can be found by clicking the self portrait of Mount below.

William Sidney Mount (1847-1850).

William Sidney Mount (1847-1850).

An Open Lot Accommodation

A little something for Wagon Wednesday.  A simple bow-top accommodation.  Very little of the wagon is seen in the image but we can rest assured that it was painted green at one time.  Hedley picked up some fine details here including bolts, boards, the tarp attachment, and a very nice little driving lamp.

LastLast in Market, Ralph Hedley 1885.  Hedley really captured life in rural northern Britain.

Bender Tent

A Traveller’s (sic) Tuesday.  Just a glimpse into life in a bender tent.  Despite the glamorous view of life on the road depicted by the romantic English Gypsy Caravans, this is how most Roma lived in 19th Century Britain.

Ralph_Headley_CharltonGypsies, Camped on the Beach, near South Shields, Ralph Hedley Charlton, painted 1876.

The Blind Fiddler

The Blind Fiddler 1806 Sir David Wilkie 1785-1841 Presented by Sir George Beaumont Bt 1826 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00099

The Blind Fiddler 1806 Sir David Wilkie 1785-1841, Tate Gallery Collection.

“An itinerant fiddler is playing for a humble country family. David Wilkie focuses on the listeners’ different expressions. Only two people seem to respond to the music: the baby and the boy on the right, who is imitating the fiddler by playing the bellows.When this picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy some critics thought the bust on the shelf represented a dissenting minister, and concluded that the family were nonconformists. The power of music to stir the passions of those supposedly suspicious of pleasure was thought to add to the painting’s subtlety.” From the Tate website 2007.

So many historic details in this painting: basket, copper work, cookware, walking stick, spinning wheel, stools, hats, dog, pipe, key, cup, and shovel.  A snapshot of late 18th – early 19th century rural life.