againstathorn: (Studio pic - pencil shaver)
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Robert's Note: Each day for the month of December I'll feature two paintings selected by yours truly. Feel free to contribute and discuss. Enjoy!

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James Hayllar - At the Theatre (1866)






Giovanni Paolo Bedini - The Reading (1885)



I would like to start my December Double my sharing ‘At the Theatre’ by English painter James Hayllar and ‘The Reading’ by Italian painter Giovanni Paolo Bedini, two works which depict individuals engaged in the arts. We see neither the performance enjoyed by the ladies in Hayllar’s painting, nor are we provided any information about the book in Bedini’s, but as the viewer we can at least observe the subjects’ reactions to each piece, which is second to experiencing them for ourselves. In ‘At the Theatre’ the woman in the center looks intently though her binoculars, absorbed in the act onstage, while her companions, flanked at either side, are equally captivated by the show. All three women are on alert, commanding a feeling of urgency to the scene. By contrast, our woman in Bedini's watercolor has leisurely propped a large book in her lap, an almost comical sight complimented by the satisfied expression on her face.

I can't help but point out that these two paintings share narrow orientations—one horizontal and one vertical. The balcony curtains draped at either side of the three patrons in Hayllar's painting effectively frames the action, and the playbill laid before them on the ledge is a nice touch, firmly establishing the scene. I would assume a higher resolution file of this painting would yield more information within this playbill, but in this image it is unreadable.

Bedini's watercolor has a very different composition, providing empty space both above and below the subject. The open area above our cheerful woman allows plenty of room for the large, open book to breathe, suggesting that its contents are worthy enough to symbolically occupy this empty space. I would argue that more tightly framed scene, cropped just above and below the woman, would yield a much different, less interesting painting.

More importantly though, that's some fine, handsome wallpaper!

Date: 2016-12-01 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com
Wow!! "December Double": such madness, I tell you!

I am delighted and thrilled. What a completely unexpected holiday gift.

Date: 2016-12-02 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stachybotrys.livejournal.com
Yeah, what Darling Daphnep said! I'm the art-dumb scientist in the room, and so I always learn so much from these sorts of posts. My comments will mostly consist of, "oooo, I like these", and "I must be dumb". :)

Oooo, I like these!

Date: 2016-12-02 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy our art posts. 😀 Always appreciate any form of feedback!

Date: 2016-12-02 12:46 pm (UTC)
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
From: [personal profile] nanila
You're not alone! :)

Date: 2016-12-02 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Most definitely! I have some great piece in store for this month! Hope you enjoy them! 😉

Date: 2016-12-01 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweet-jane.livejournal.com
I love it when you write about art! You have a gift.

Date: 2016-12-02 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm flattered! Happy that you're enjoying these.

Date: 2016-12-01 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jola.livejournal.com
the textures in the first one are amazing, i love seeing lace in paintings, how sheer and delicate a good artist can get it - i'm always delighted by those details.

Date: 2016-12-02 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
It's an awesome lace detail. I dig the white gloves too.

Date: 2016-12-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tediousandbrief.livejournal.com
Ya! Arts!!!

I love that top one!

Date: 2016-12-02 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Yes. That one seems to be the winner for today! 😃

Date: 2016-12-02 12:47 pm (UTC)
nanila: me (me: ooh!)
From: [personal profile] nanila
Your analysis brings so much more to the viewing of these. And I love the expression on the reading woman's face in the second.

Date: 2016-12-03 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Me too. Her expression is priceless.
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