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02.04.16Young Woman IroningMFA Boston

As I go through art museums and galleries there are different things I am looking for at different times. Sometimes I look for how an artist has set up the space and the subject matter. Other times I look for how the artist uses different kinds of light. This painting was all about light, what I would call bright and quiet light. The painting held my attention for a long time when I was at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. I loved how Louis-Léopold Boilly rendered the various pieces of fabric (remember when I was Boston I was discovering that painting fabric was really challenging). In fact he really did load up the room with glorious fabric.

To me it feels like the young woman is in the centre of a still life (which completely appeals to me).   Each item carefully placed to capture a viewer’s attention. Painting the items on the shelf against the back wall to the right of the young woman requires an amazing depth of understanding on how to render the subtle values required of each item. The fabric of the dress and apron that she is wearing are so well done. Notice all the subtle wrinkles that the artist is able to capture.   Then the two pieces of red draped silk fabric are just glorious.

In this painting it was the young woman who first caught my eye but really she is the hook and then there is so much more to see around her. How I wish I could go to the MFA again to just sit and examine this work again.

The text next to the painting was interesting. “Boilly’s laundress – at once prim and inviting in her pressed apron and plunging décolleté – irons in a curiously well-appointed kitchen. Contemporary critics complained that the girl was too elegantly dressed for her station, and the great swaths of drapery that decorate the furniture would have been out of place in any room used only by servants. Boilly included these details to showcase his gifts as a painter of textures and to invite comparison to the seventeenth-century Dutch masters whose work he himself collected. “

Critics are always so interesting! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.  I will see you on Monday.

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