Monday, September 29, 2014

Reading and Paintings

Reading is not just a great way to learn, relax, or have fun.  It's also a great way for painters and other artists to get their models to sit still for indeterminate amounts of time.  A simple Google search of "readers in paintings" or something along those lines will more than prove my point.  In case you'd rather not spend the time sifting through the thumbnails, here are a few of my favorites:

Young Woman Reading, Jean Honore Fragonard
I love how Renoir's subjects seem to be having a lot of fun.  Renoir is one of my favorite painters in general, and not just because he seems to use readers a lot.  Though of course it helps....
I also think this one by Charles Edward Perugini is just beautiful.  I wish I looked that good when I was reading; usually it's more than I absently have started sucking on my hair and forgot I was also chewing gum.
Now I've pretty much played favorites rather than exhibiting the wide range of paintings out there that show people reading books.  All of my choices today are of young women reading, but there are men, children, older people, reading everything from newspapers to small pamphlets to thick tomes, and with varying degrees of enthusiasm (some models obviously are trying to look "artistic" and end up looking distant and holding the books too far away to read the print).  If you're interested, go ahead and search for more paintings, and if you find any that are your personal favorites, let me know in the comments below.  It should be easy enough to find more art, as most are entitled "The Reader" or "Girl Reading" or some other unimaginative name.  We mustn't judge painters too harshly though; their creativity was focused on visuals, not synonyms.  

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