Thursday, April 5, 2018

Women / Impressionism 2

The curators' statements on the walls of the Speed Museum's exhibit "Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism" contained some language that I didn't love, to the effect that women of course had a special facility for painting domestic scenes.  Because of course men don't have breakfast tables or children, right?  Can you deduce the gender of the artist in comparing these two classic Impressionist scenes:

Well, be that as it may, there were some nice domestic scenes portrayed in the show. 

Harriet Backer, Big Brother Playing, 1890

Berthe Morisot, The Artist's Daughter, Julie, with her Nanny, 1884

Probably my favorite was this:

Marie Bracquemond, Under the Lamp, 1887

Probably the artist didn't intend it this way -- or did she? -- but to my eye the husband is a disembodied presence floating on the mist of the hot soup, ignored by the woman staring off into the wings.  Maybe he's just a disapproving spirit who hovers over her life and makes her feel under surveillance even if he's not there.  Or maybe he's really there, and she's just wondering how come he gets to drink all the wine.

Oh, and the top picture of women in a boat was by Claude Monet, the bottom picture was by Berthe Morisot.  Did you guess right?


  1. Almost looks like the lady under the lamp is not eating either - sitting with her husband while he eats having got home late (or something)
    I got the top 2 right. one has women for the main subject and the other a woman with a child. Could be something in it, but could be that was permitted/expected as with the other examples with children included.