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 … Continue reading Interior of a Mechanic’s Workshop
Here is a painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893) of an itinerant fiddler playing for a family in a Scottish lane probably trying to make enough money to eat or maybe even receive some food for his entertainment. I can't help but think the father looking out has a skeptical look; possibly wondering … Continue reading Wandering Minstral
By Léon François Comerre, French Academic School. I think this familiar looking instrument comes from Africa via the Arabic world and is generally called a tanbūr. A sort of distant uncle to the modern banjo, America's African instrument. The only thing missing is the drone string.
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 … Continue reading William Sydney Mount, another pointless art excursion
"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 … Continue reading The Blind Fiddler
Comrades, the 42nd Highlanders (copy of a lost earlier painting by the artist) 1894, by Robert Gibb. This image is extremely moving and poignant. The scene is of the 42nd Regiment of Foot (later called the Black Watch), during the Crimean War winter campaign of 1854-1855. The dying man on the ground is whispering his … Continue reading Comrades
Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, 1854. Self portrait by Gustave Courbet (right). The Realist style here is a bit stiff for my taste but this is a fine image for 19th century clothing. Nice walking staff too.
I like everything about this painting. Eduard Charlemont is an easy one to spot. Generally, his subjects are flamboyantly dressed, generally holding a drink, and often have a musical instrument; even if it's just a drum. I think I'm ready to be this guy. And note the excellent little tusk-tenon bench.
“I came to a point where I needed solitude and just stop the machine of thinking and enjoying what they call living, I just wanted to lie in the grass and look at the clouds.” — Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler