Housewives In Art, Part Two.

By alison September 23, 2010 17 Comments 2 Min Read

I can’t begin to tell you how very much I am enjoying the search for Housewives In Art. That women at home should so often have been sympathetically rendered is blessing enough, but to find elements of celebration of women’s work in so many of the paintings I am discovering is a complete joy to me…
I am kicking off this week with the painting above “ServiceMan’s Wife” by Ivan Olinsky a Russian artist renowned for his idealised portraits of women. I chose this one today not just for the peeling motion we are all so familiar with, but for the careful, subdued palette and the look of longing, emptiness and maybe fear in the subjects eyes…

Next up an image from Christian Krohg, a leading figure in the Norwegian Naturalist movement. Entitled “Trett” or “Tired” this lovely 1885 painting depicts a woman sleeping at her sewing machine and I am rather thrilled by the domestic detail described… the teacup on the chair and the net curtain strung across the sash window… lovely, and more than that blessed with a sense of quiet satisfaction that only comes with work well done.

Isn’t this one fabulous? Not only is it resplendent with the joys of a Spring day, pinnies and tea-towels but it also describes a sense of community lost to so many of us these days in bright, happy detail. Painted by Willibald Alfred Reuter in1899,  this scrumptiously domestic painting is called “Auf dem Wäschetrockenplatz”, or “Laundry Drying”.

And finally for today, an image that speaks to me of the solitude of home-making. Though I love the sombre immaculate interiors that are a feature of all Carl Holsoe’s paintings, the portrait of his wife laying the table strikes me as a  singularly lonely  and kind of hurts my heart… (Though let me state here and now I would sell Finn’s Nana for a gorgeous plate rack like the one sitting above the door-frame…)
More soon art lovers…

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17 Comments

  1. Lorrie says:

    They are all lovely. There is a striking contrast between the community of the laundry post, full of life and colour, and the solitude expressed in the last painting. But they would both be my favourites – community and solitude are something that I need.

  2. Lorrie says:

    They are all lovely. There is a striking contrast between the community of the laundry post, full of life and colour, and the solitude expressed in the last painting. But they would both be my favourites – community and solitude are something that I need.

  3. Debs says:

    I have just found your blog, and I love this post (and those before). The paintings are wonderful, my favourite being the Carl Holsoe.
    It 's such so serene, calm and peaceful, and a beautiful room as well.

  4. melissa says:

    I'm partial to the last one (Holsoe)…I've discovered him lately, as well, and find them so soothing.
    Thanks, sweet one, for sharing. 🙂

  5. Andrea says:

    My all time favorite painting is "At Breakfast" by Laurits Andersen Ring (http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/200833/1/At-Breakfast,-1898.jpg) – I have had a print of it for about 20 years now and where ever I'm living it is always in the room I spend the most time in. I love how, even at rest, her chair is pulled out because you know she is going to have to leap up at any second to attend to someone or something. I love this series of your. I hope you continue it.

    1. Gena says:

      Oh Andrea! what a lovely picture,lazy mornings reading a newspaper at the breakfast table! Heaven!

  6. Megan says:

    Oh I love them all but my favourite would also have to be the Carl Holsoe. The first one bothers me, it makes me uncomfortable (and it did even before I read what what you wrote) but that's exactly what I love about Art, it stirs something, doesn't matter what. I adore this series thankyou. Megan xx

  7. That first painting is STUNNING!

  8. Tracelaine says:

    The wisp of a dreamy smile on Christian Krohg's Tired muse coupled with the light coming in from the window make me feel very cozy. I'm also noticing only two chairs at the dinner table of Carl Holsoe and wife. Love the muted tone.

  9. Tracelaine says:

    The wisp of a dreamy smile on Christian Krohg's Tired muse coupled with the light coming in from the window make me feel very cozy. I'm also noticing only two chairs at the dinner table of Carl Holsoe and wife. Love the muted tone.

  10. Jennie says:

    Love your blog Alison. Thought you might like this. There is a gorgeous oil painting by German Australian artist, Hans Heysen, showing his wife sewing baby clothes for their growing family in 1913. You can find it at http://www.hansheysen.com.au I would love to own a print of this one day. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Gena says:

    I love the laundry drying one because it truly is one of my very favourite things on a fine blowy day to see my washing line fluttering with tea towels and pinnys! also I do agree that last pic is divine,how I long for such a dining room!

  12. hellyamber says:

    What a lovely idea! As soon as I'd saw this post I thought of this painting by Vida Lahey 'Monday Morning' http://qag.qld.gov.au/collection/queensland_herit…. My grandmother has a print of this painting hanging in her house and it's exactly the way she used to do the washing back in the day.

  13. Beautiful, evocative images.
    I adore the last image.

  14. Mitts says:

    Wonderful site your building up, I simply adore vintage art, and this subject of Housewives is absolutely right in line with todays' culture, if one takes the time to analyze it, cause with the majority of working mothers/housewives today, I am guessing we are not that far removed from way back when, only the technologies and wardrobes seem to have changed. Just my slant on it, but I love visiting here.
    Mentioned your site on my blogpost today, love it. Thank you for the time you spend in collecting these wonderful images.

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