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Everett Shinn - Nightclub Scene (1934)





Henricus Antonius "Han" van Meegeren - The Actress Clara Vischer-Blaaser in a Tea Room (1927-1932)



My selections for today's December Double are an intriging pair. In both 'Nightclub Scene' by American painter Everett Shinn and 'The Actress Clara Vischer-Blaaser in a Tea Room' by Dutch painter Henricus Antonius "Han" van Meegeren, our attention is immediately drawn to a woman seated alone at a table, presumably waiting for her company to return, if they haven't arrived already. Although Shinn's painting was executed as an environmental scene and Van Meegeren's painting as a more traditional portrait, they each resonate the same with me, as the two women exhibit a strikingly familiar body language and also appear comfortable with their position alone in these busy, social environments.

That said, these two scenes are rendered drastically different from one another, with 'Nightclub' presenting a much darker palette, creating an alluring, dramatic appeal. Van Meegeren's portrait supplies less information within its background, effectively maintaining our attention on the subject, and I like the luminescence of the table lights, which charge the scene with a ghostly quality.

Between these two works, I prefer 'Nightclub' for its artistry. After all, Shinn was a member of the Ashcan School, and his style owes much to realism, so it's only natural that I side with his work. That said, when I selected Van Meegeren's portrait I was unaware of the artist's significance, as he's remembered as the infamous 20th forger who specialized in coping works from the Dutch Golden Age. His portrait I selected for today's December Double was apparently an original by him. Not bad, considering.

Date: 2016-12-04 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com
Love these! I, too, prefer the first, visually, but it's interesting to see a Van Megeren original. When I scrolled down, I admit I was expecting a Vermeer knockoff.

Thanks for these!

Date: 2016-12-04 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] againstathorn.livejournal.com
Anytime! Actually, viewing the Shinn painting again, I also notice a male figure sitting at a table in the background, and I believe his attention is on the woman sitting alone in the foreground. Each of them are identified by the red and white striped pattern on the chair, so perhaps the artist meant for the viewer to register a connection between the two. There's a lot of great details in the background, and I love how Shinn's use of light creates an authentic nightlife atmosphere. You'll also spot a woman whose torso is silhouetted by a spotlight. Nice touch!

Also, someone needs to clean up that paper on the floor in the lower right hand corner. Someone could slip and seriously injure themselves, though I'm sure the artist added it only a balance out the other white values throughout the scene. That's no excuse for creating a safety hazard!
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