Afternoon to you my lovely Vintage Housekeepers. Would you like to take another little tour around my makeshift gallery of housewives today? You see I can barely resist. This series here on Brocante has inspired in me something I can only describe as a great new love. Where once I spent my days hopping around the internet in search of  all that is shabbily beautiful in interiors, or crying out in bloggy joy when I happened across an image of yet another fifties housewife, now it is to the classic painting that I am drawn and it is around the breathtakingly huge variety of art websites that I have been prowling most persistently.

That my own aesthetic should have changed so dramatically is only I suppose an example of moving forwards as we learn, and indeed it is the subject matter of all the images I choose for Brocantehome that pleases me most, and yet I would not be telling the truth if I did not now confess to feeling somewhat thrilled by this latest diversion through the history of domesticity that has come to be my most enduring passion.

First up this week is John French Sloans painting “A Woman’s Work” for I do not think there is anything that spells out the gentle glory of homemaking quite as splendidly as a line billowing with freshly washed white linen now is there? Sloan was an American painter famed for his depictions of urban New York life and this painting is typical of his interest in what could be considerd mundane but is ultimately rendered beautiful at the clever artists hand (I love how she is holding a peg in her mouth)…

Next this week this rather astonishingly sulky portrait of a Mother and Daughter at lunch from Swiss Painter François Emile Barraud. Painted in 1933, La Tailleuse de Soupe caught my eye not just for the awkward way Mummy is cutting the bread (in much the same fashion one would slit someone’s throat?), but for the insolent elbows, the un-spoken tension (or am I imagining it?), the style of the painting itself and how it so exquisitely describes the pared down aesthetic of an era struck by financial depression.

Third on the list : Felix Edouard Villente’s ode to the quiet contemplation of a woman attending to her mending as she sits at the window of her bedroom, in view of a world denied to her by her chores… Dear me how carried away I am wont to get! Still regardless of it’s subject matter or my rather preposterous projections upon it, this is a simply beautiful painting, with a quiet palette,  a decorating scheme still terribly pleasing today, and the kind of French upholstered dove grey headboard I dream of transforming my bedroom with.

And now for a painting by James Tissot that speaks to me of the long hours between three and five when the day should be almost done and yet still stretches interminably towards bedtime. Entitled Hide and Seek it was painted in 1877.  See how Mother is sequestered in the corner of the luxurious shambles that is the Victorian drawing room? The mischief on that little one’s face? This is the kind of painting I could stare at for hours if only so that I have the opportunity to drink in all the detail the artist has managed to capture…

Finally, The Supper from 1921 by Jos Albert. Probably the  loneliest meal I have ever seen depicted and yet the sombre atmosphere is somewhat belied by the small indulgences this housewife has laid at her own table: the crystal carafe, the fabric topped jam pot, the gorgeous flowers. Lonely she might be, but this is a housekeeper after our own hearts darlings…

Till next time then.

P.S: Don’t forget you can see all the images and more besides from my Housewives in Art series by clicking on the link in the toolbar below.