Fine Art Friday, Sir George Clausen

French Peasant Girls Praying, 1875
[This is a photo I took of a page from my book.
This is my introduction to Sir George Clausen;
I’m so thankful for what I’ve discovered
because of this picture.]

A Normandy Peasant, 1887
[I love the colors and the background;
the absent smile is haunting, no?]

Twilight 1909
[Of course I love this one! 
A girl, a light and a book.
I need to add this to my gallery
of readers in my hallway.]

Next week I’ll move on to another artist.
I think I will remember this winter as the
season I discovered Clausen.
big breath…happy sigh

Best place to learn more about Clausen.

Fine Art Friday – Sir George Clausen

The Mowers, 1885
My husband loves this picture.
He is a man who relishes hard work; his muscles give witness to this.
We are enjoying this slice of August on our computer desktop
while in real life it is a snowy April.
The watercolor above was done in 1885.

The Mowers, 1891
This Mowers is an oil, done six years later.
Which one do you prefer: the watercolor or the oil?
In both, I think he’s captured the fluid movement of the mowers.

 Boy Trimming a Hedge, 1890
This dun colored piece doesn’t have the elegant light of the ones above.
The background seems too cluttered or busy.
But I like to think of this boy as the younger brother, nephew
or even son of the men above. 
Boys at work.  It just seems right.

The Breakfast Table, 1891-92
I believe these girls are the painter’s daughters
and the woman presiding over the table is his wife.
When I look at this picture I can just hear that pleasant
tinkle of silverware on china, a sound I love
in Jane Austen/BBC movies.

The best place to learn more about Sir George Clausen
is this blog.  From what I can gather the author is a
descendant of   SGC.
Clausen is my find of the year (happy sigh). 

Fine Art Friday – Sir George Clausen

The Girl at the Gate, 1889

Head of a Young Girl, 1884

Gathering Potatoes, 1887

Aren’t these magnificent?
Sir. George. Clausen. 
My new favorite artist.

Here’s some wonderful synthesis:
I’ve been listening to Barbara Tuchman’s
The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914   
(Tuchman is my new favorite historian…close your ears David McCullough!).
How lovely to focus on art made in the same time frame.

Come back next Friday.
There are many more treats waiting.


Fine Art Friday – Sir George Clausen

Sir George Clausen  is a delightful discovery of my week.
If you are a fan of Bouguereau’s art, you will like Clausen.
He studied under Bouguereau.
Does he remind you of Millet? 
Remember my Millet in March fiasco two years ago? (giggle)

I haven’t been able to find the print I wanted to highlight,
French Peasant Girls Praying.

But here are three paintings to enjoy this Friday.

Straw Plaiter, 1883

Brown Eyes, 1891
This could be a portrait of my niece.
You can see the impressionist influence in this one.

Head of a French Peasant Woman
[Her hands, particularly her little finger strike me.]

Clausen’s forté was landscape and peasant art.
He believe that the subject of landscape art
wasn’t the landscape,
but the light. 

I could do a month of Clausens.  They are lovely.

Fine Art Friday – Deborah Dewit Marchant

Evenings at Home, Deborah Dewit Marchant

Friday Nights, Deborah Dewit Marchant

Sometimes when my son asks, “What movie are we going to watch tonight?” my response is, “Let’s have a reading evening instead.”  We three get a book, get comfy, have a cuppa something, and read away.  With two talkers and one listener in the room, there are bound to be interruptions.  “Listen to this!” or “Did you know…?”  There is something cozy about sharing the experience of reading instead of sharing the experience of watching.

Certain authors “get” the reading life. Their descriptions resonate and reverberate; they make you nod in agreement. Reading a book like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society inspires you to read more. 

Likewise some artists understand the power and glory of reading books.  Deb Dewit Marchant  is an artist with a passion for reading, writing, cats and nature.  Check out the link; look into the nooks and crannies and you will find treasures galore.  My favorite page is the Reader’s Collection in the Note Cards section.  The Writer’s Series is wonderful.  Lots to love, people, lots to love. 

Hat tip to Janie for introducing me to Dewit Marchant’s art.  And thank you Deborah for permission to post your art.  I see a string of Fine Art Fridays ahead.

Sponge, Sand-Glass, Strain-Bag and Diamond

Girl Reading   ~ Renoir

Readers may be divided into four classes:

1. Sponges, who absorb all that they read
and return it in nearly the same state,
only a little dirtied.

2.  Sand-glasses, who retain nothing
and are content to get through a book
for the sake of getting through time.

3.  Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs
of what they read.

4. Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable,
who profit by what they read,
and enable others to profit by it also.

~  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Thank you to all you diamonds who have enriched me.

A Light and A Glory

The Song of Simeon by Rembrandt

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the glory of thy people Israel.

~   ~   ~

This song grabbed my soul when I was 15 years old.
We sang this text in high school choir.
I have never found the musical setting of that “Song of Simeon”.
Every year I look.
When I was 15, I didn’t think to write a composer’s name down.

I wish I could find it.
Because I’d love to share it with you.
No Nunc Dimittus I’ve heard comes close
to the glory of the tune I know,
even though some are quite good.

Rembrandt’s painting is compelling.
I love Simeon’s hands and eyes.
Rembrandt capture’s Simeon’s heart full of joy.

Merry Christmas!

Fine Art Friday – Claude Monet

The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Camille Monet, 1873

The first artist I fell in love with.
Freshman French class.

My brother John nurtured that love
by meeting me in downtown Chicago
for trips to the Art Institute.

Up close you see only brushstrokes.
Stand back and the picture emerges.

Born this day in 1840.
He kept this picture of his wife with him until his death in 1926.


A Sad Fine Art Friday

Grieving Parents
by Käthe Kollwitz  (Katie KAWL vits)
The models for these sculptures are Kollwitz and her husband.

The sculptures reside in the graveyard where their son, Peter,
a German soldier who died in 1914, is buried.

“The task is to bear it not only during these few weeks, but for a long time –
in dreary November as well, and also when spring comes again,
in March, the month of young men who wanted to live and are dead.”

Mutter mit Zwillingen

Much of her art is a response to war and death.
There are grotesque representations of death,
hollow-eyed mothers, grieving mothers.

Kollwitz featured the working class as her subjects.
In this drawing you see the weariness of mom
contrasted with the repose of baby.

Working Woman with Sleeping Child, 1927

55 drawings, article, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köhn
(click on English at bottom)

 Seed Corn Must Not Be Ground, 1942
Käthe Kollwitz’ final lithograph,
after her grandson Peter (named after his uncle) died in WWII