1866. The Reluctant Bride by Auguste Toulmouche.
A sumptuous display of fabrics, colors and textures set in a lavish setting of French decor. The intended bride stares out at the viewer defiantly as if to say, “This will not be my lot in life.” The intensity of her gaze indicates her determination as she barely seems to notice her concerned attendants. And who is the fool in the background trying on the bride’s headpiece and admiring herself in the mirror with no regard to the drama that is behind her. She must be the willing bride, subsumed by the ideology and fantasy of weddings as opposed to the main figure in her luscious white satin bridal gown who looks out at us, visually saying NO.
Auguste Toulmouce The Kiss 1886
A delicious image of desire. A couple in costume, he is a pierrot and she is a courtesan perhaps; it is unclear. What is clear is the passion of their kiss. They were seated across from one another and suddenly moved by passion they push back their chairs and kiss over the table. The table is lavishly set for their intimate encounter in a private room. On top of a gorgeous tablecloth a bowl is filled with lush fruit, a symbolic displacement of their kiss. There is fine crystal and china and a bottle of champagne and yet another bottle on ice on the floor in a beautiful silver champagne bucket. The fruit, the champagne, the lavish decor and the couples mysterious yet alluring costumes all combine in their kiss, a kiss of visceral desire. Yummy.
New blog post on 2 paintings by 19th century French painter Auguste Toulmouche.
1890 Federal Census listing my great great grandfather John Elliott who captained a boat on the Eire Canal. His wife Susan listed as “keeping house”. There 2 children Margaret and Elizabeth listed “at school”. A younger brother Walter had died when he drowned in the canal. Also in their household was William Laman listed as a “servant” and his son, John. The Elliotts lived in Rochester, New York and I often wonder what their household was like. Did they have some beautiful aesthetic silverplate to adorn their table? Was it polished by Mr. Laman? Is there some genetic code I’ve inherited that explains my love of aesthetic silver?
The other 3 images are pictures of the Erie Canal in Rochester. Did my great great grandfather see these sights everyday? It is the lure of history, the desire for connection to my past and a desire to fulfill my 19th century fantasies.
The Young Man Drying His Legs By Gustave Caillebotte, 1884
Gorgeous painting- intimate, sensual…
New Post on The Great Within: Silver Desire: A Late 19th Century Biscuit Barrel