This morning I wanted to do something a little different here on BrocanteHome, something that will take me back to my roots as a once upon a time artist whilst continuing to celebrate the domesticity that is my most enduring passion.
And so I am going to begin an erstwhile journey in search of the housewife in art, not the usual pin-up girls and American magazine illustrations images I usually feature here on BrocanteHome, but paintings by classic artists like Vermeer that celebrate the everyday. There will be no rhyme nor reason to this series, no specific themes, genres or schools of art: just simply beautiful images that describe the kind of enduring domestic tasks that remain a part of all our family lives, even today.
Basically, this m’dears, is merely an excuse to add a little gorgeous eye-candy to Brocante, while pretending to be a tad more high-brow than I ever give myself credit for. So without further ado let me begin…
The painting at the top of the page is called Pot Pourri and was painted by Edwin Austin Abbey in 1899. Austin began his career as an illustrator for Harpers Weekly, but by by the time he painted this lovely rendition of a group of women making rose petal pot pourri (See how they have laid the petals out on the floor to dry?), this American artist was a fully fledged member of the Royal Academy of Art and went on to gain illustrious fame as the artist chosen to paint King Edward VII.
Next up is one of my favorite domestic images of all time: “Apple Dumplings” by George Dunlop Leslie, an artist who sought to feature the “sunny side of English domestic life” in his large body of lovely, homely paintings. But though much of his work will be familiar to you, it is this one that really makes my housekeepers heart sing: that gorgeous green cupboard, the so familiar act that is the curly peeling of an apple, the herbs drying, the pastry rolled… Gosh I could go on and on. It’s darling isn’t it?
And finally for today “Motherhood” by Walter Langley, one of the founding members of the “En Plein Air” (outdoor painting) movement. Otherwise known as “The Rosy Idol of Her Solitude”, a title that succinctly describes exactly what it is to be a Mother to a new baby when the nights are long and it seems possible that there is only you and a child who will not sleep, awake in the world. I chose “Motherhood” today because of the exhausted expression on the woman’s face. Because of the patchwork quilt tucked around the baby, the print tacked to the wall, and the rag hanging over the edge of the bowl. Because we’ve all been there…
More coming soon Housekeepers.