I had a chance to cool out with culture this weekend. It’s been a touch stressful at work (I have been a cat-herder for six weeks now) and when I can’t take a week to vacation in Bali, I turn to things like the dusty camera shelves at thrift stores and the European painting collections at our local museums. (Who is hip now, huh?)
I like still lifes of dead game, fruit, and flowers but what I like even more are portraits (go figure - I drew a portrait for my completion pic yesterday). The Dixon has a few good ones right now and I was particularly enchanted with the painter’s descriptions of the women in their portraits. Here are my favorites (punctuation accurate):
“…much intelligence and delicacy of feeling”
“…lively, spiritual, intelligent, and full of playfulness”
“…a Lady of goodly Personage, somewhat taller than ordinary French Women are, excellent Eyes, black hair, and of a most sweet and affable Nature.”
That last one was for a Flemish woman, who we all know are much taller than French ladies.
So the question is, what would your eighteenth century painting description be of your portrait? What would a Frenchman with a brush say about you?
“…lively of spirit, Lady of GODly personage, wholesome of face, handsome of height, and Skilled in lemonade Arts”
I guess I have to think about mine longer.