Inspiration Du Jour / The Art of Knitting

The Art of Knitting

I noticed a recent theme of paintings I’ve been coming across lately on the good ole interwebs… ladies knitting! Maybe it’s because Autumn is just around the corner and I am very excited to start wearing sweaters and shawls and layers again… Anyhow, I adore what these women are wearing while they’re knitting. I am enamored by the everyday clothes women wore while doing everyday things as depicted in these paintings.

The Art of Knitting

The Art of Knitting

The Art of Knitting

Ok, can we just talk about how cute her little basket is? I want this! And her antique locket on a velvet ribbon!

The Art of Knitting

The Art of Knitting

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Vintage Style Inspiration | Artfully Knitted

Have you noticed how many paintings there are of ladies knitting? I hadn’t until recently. Knitting is one of my favorite winter pass times for me. Whenever I sit down to knit, I like to make an event out of it. Light candles, put on a good podcast, and make a fire in my fireplace. Anyway, I was looking through paintings of women knitting that date back to the early 1900s, and of course, I loved all their outfits.

 

 

Whenever I knit, I feel like I’m taking part of a lady ritual dating back to so many generations before me. It’s an action that is so closely connected to matrilineal lineage. I’m not saying men don’t knit or can’t knit, but it’s undeniable that traditionally knitting has been a feminine past time.

 

It’ also still amazing to me that humans would make everything of theirs by hand. My father told me stories of his mother making him and his siblings underwear. She was a seamstress, so luckily she could probably do it fairly easily. I like to think about all socks being knitted by hand back then.

For a while I would get together with my girlfriends to sit in a circle, knit, and talk. I love to think of how this is an activity ladies have been doing for more than a century.

source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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Monday Muse | Women in Art, Part Deux

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a Monday Muse post! (We’ll pick up on this, I promise!) and so I thought of doing a Part Deux of Women in Art. I have 4 different types of painting subjects I love. Flowers, Interiors, Landscapes, and Women. Not necessarily in that order. But flowers and women are pretty high up there…and when the two are combined, my eyes literally get hearts in them. Or any combo of the 4 = hearts in eyes + unicorn emoji.

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux
Portrait of a Lady with a Cat and Ivy – Juan Cordero 19th century

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux
James Longacre Wood (American painter, 1863-1938) Flower Girl 1899

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux
Seated Girl by Hugh Ramsay, c. 1894-1906

Mason, Arnold; Portrait of a Young Woman; Derby Museums Trust; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/portrait-of-a-young-woman-60969

Mason, Arnold, 1885-1963; Portrait of a Young Woman

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux

Sir William Orpen:  The Eastern Gown 1878 – 1931

image credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

I identify with each one of these women in different ways. These women were painted at a time when women really didn’t have a voice or platform. It wasn’t that long ago that women were still considered property and their place was at home and in the kitchen. You either were married off or became a spinster (i.e. loser) We’ve come a long way from that. And sure, sure… there’s still more work to be done. But what our society has accomplished in less than 100 years is staggering compared to what was done for women’s rights in the preceding millenniums (i.e. pretty much ZILCH)

The women in these paintings represent a quiet and resolute strength while appearing gentle and feminine for the painter. She is both approachable and unassuming, but also a world of her own that she does not mind keeping you out of.

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part DeuxOphelia. Oil on Canvas. 76 x 62 cm. English School.19th Century.

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux
The Journey Home ~ Henry John Yeend King ~ (English: 1855-1924)

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part DeuxAnna Pavlova by Savely Sorine (1878 – 1953)

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux

Monday Muse / Women in Art / Part Deux

I just discovered Gerald Brockhurst (who painted the portrait above) and I am in LOVE. Not only do I really enjoy his style of painting, his subjects always have the best outfits! I am inspired not once, but twice! I’ll have to do a post on just his portraits from the 1930s and 1940s because the clothes are pretty exquisite!

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Vintage Inspired Homes | Painted Rooms

I first discovered the Danish painter Carl Wilhelm Holsoe through Pinterest about 3 years ago. I remember loving the quietness and stillness of his subjects. I love the tones he used for his work. And most of all I love what he painted. Beautiful interiors and women doing very simple things (like laundry, reading, tending to the house linens).

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This feeling came over me when I looked through his work. This longing. For a life like the ones in these paintings. I have never had big grand dreams. My dreams are simple. A home, a garden, taking care of my husband and (eventually) children. Have a couple dogs, perhaps a cat (if I can convince my husband). / image credit: Woman Looking Out A Window

*side note* There are a few hashtags on Instagram you can check out that evoke these feelings. #aquietlife #theartofslowliving or Beth Kirby’s (aka @localmilk) entire feed.

Much of how I decorated our home was inspired by Holsoe. And someday, when we have a house out in the country, I’ll have a garden as well!

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I do wonder if these two paintings are the same room. Don’t they look so very similar? Even down to the hanging plant in the window! There are some differences, but I can’t help but wonder these ARE the same room and the lady of the house is similar to me and likes to move furniture around all the time, but really it always looks a bit the same. / image credits: A RoomA Woman At Sunny Window, Girl Reading in Sunlit Room

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The images below are a mix of different painters. All the ones above are by Carl Wilhelm Holsoe.

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View Through A Window (1934) by Russian painter Konstantin Andreevich Somov. (credit)

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I’m not quite sure who painted the one on the left, all I know is that is is Russian. I just love both of the chairs in these paintings. And all the plants! / image credits: Russian Interior, Carl Larsson 1887 “Toys in the Corner”

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These two above are by Carl Wilhem Holsoe. Aren’t they delightful? The one below has a very bohemian feel and is by Swiss painter Albert Anker. His work is also one I greatly admire as he often depicts daily farm and peasant life and I love all those muted colors so much. (image source)

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If you want to decorate your home this way here is a list of things you will want to acquire…

  1. Antique/Vintage furniture with simple, clean, and feminine lines in dark wood finishes
  2. Sheer or lace curtains. Anything that evokes airiness and will flutter with a light breeze.
  3. Richly colored rugs, most likely tapestry rugs. You could probably get away with Kilim rugs if it doesn’t look too Southwestern.
  4. Plants with delicate stems and leaves. And lots of them. Keep on a window sill or a pretty pedestal table. Terra-cotta pots are preferred especially if it shows patina.
  5. Antique/Vintage paintings depicting landscapes or portraits of people in dark wood frames or gold frames. Hang art sparingly or in gallery style as a focal point the room.
  6. Brass or silver as highlights, but use sparingly.

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J’adore François Boucher!

18th century French painter François Boucher said about nature “trop verte et mal éclairée” (too green and badly lit) in a letter to Nicolas Lancret, another French painter.

When you think of 18th century France you probably first think of Marie Antoinette, sumptuous fabrics, larger than life powdered hairstyles, and flowers, so many flowers!

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François Boucher was supporte by his patroness, Madame de Pompadour, the official mistress to King Louis XV. Not to go off topic, but have you ever read anything about Madame de Pompadour? She seemed like a super cool, super classy lady! If I lived back in the day and was French (AND super rich) I would hope Jeanne and I would have been buddies! / IMG SRC: Detail of The Interrupted Sleep by Francois Boucher 

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Ok, back to Mister Boucher! He was known for incredibly dreamy and sumptuous paintings and also for pastoral scenes. If you know me at all, you’ll know I am a huge HUGE fan of anything fancy AND pastoral. / IMG SRC: (top) Madame Pompadour by Francois BoucherMadame Bergeret 1746 by Francois Boucher

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As much flack as Marie Antoinette got for building her Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet) where she dressed like a milkmaid and romped around fields and picnicked with her children while sheep grazed by… I TOTALLY GET IT! I’d probably do the same thing… but not build a fake village. I’d just go buy a real village and go hang with the locals and give them jobs. / IMG SRC: In the Garden by Francois Boucher

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Gosh, I keep going off topic. Actually, this really isn’t just about François Boucher, it’s more about WHY I adore his work so much. He painted such a beautiful part of history, so idyllic, so romantic, so absolutely dreamy. And he added some naughty bits. Some eroticism and mysticism all cleverly hidden in flowers, fruits, and the scenery.

And some weren’t hidden, some were just in your face, look at this naked lady with a swan right *there* (just google it) / IMG SRC: above and both below are from Francois Boucher Gallery

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Francois Boucher, Rococo Pastorale

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