Art For Those That Love a Good Read
Often those that love art feel the same way across multiple forms. They can appreciate paintings, music, literature and theater. Artists can show their appreciation for another form when they combine them into one piece. They use one kind of art for the medium and another one for the subject. Here at overstockArt we have discovered some of our favorite artists creating works that reflect on the books and enjoyment of reading. If you are someone who also loves both visual art and the written word, one of these pieces might suit you perfectly.
Paul Cezanne is best known for his colorful still lifes, but in this piece we see the portrait of a man so engrossed in reading his newspaper that he ignores everything around him. The way he’s positioned in the oversized armchair indicates he is relaxed and enjoying the quiet time to read. The use of dark colors and rich textures creates the illusion of an intimate setting the viewer is allowed to observe. Cezanne knew that the subject was too focused on his reading to even acknowledge an intrusion.
Giovanni Boldini of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was famous for his vigorous take on the Realist style, and his art became incredibly popular among notable members of the upper class. This piece places a beautiful debutante within the luxurious setting of a stately bourgeois home, lounging unperturbed and enjoying something to read. Her flattering dress and sumptuous environment would surely have made this image a success among his admirers. The papers in her hand have captured her, while her image captures the audience.
Jean Fragonard was a French painter and print-maker whose late Rococo designs were distinguished by remarkable exuberance and a flourish for the decadent. This reproduction is a study in sophistication, with its flawless execution of a simple premise. The Reader, also known as A Young Girl Reading, depicts a girl in an upper-class lemon yellow dress with collar and cuffs, reading a small book. With its use of lines and shadows, it conveys a sense of intimacy with its subject. She is enjoying the book in her hand and the viewer can share in that enjoyment.
Set against a relatively muted and subdued background, this simple scene of a book and a sprig of flowers symbolizes the beginnings of spring. Also visible is the continuing influence of Japanese art on Vincent van Gogh. The simple arrangement, cleanly stricken line work, and reference to Japanese Ikebana (flower arrangements) give this piece a pared down elegance. It reminds us how simple joys in life, like that story in a good book, can sometimes be the best.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was known for his fully defined technique, and the way he rendered facial expressions and movements masterfully. Renoir often used his friends and acquaintances, such as fellow artists and writers, as models. He spent weeks and sometimes months perfecting his paintings. The meticulous attention to detail can be seen in this piece where his friend, and fellow artist, is the subject. Catching the man while he enjoyed a relaxing pipe and a few minutes of quiet reading, seems to convey much about their close relationship and gives the audience a glimpse into the artist’s private delights.
This modern print by one of our favorite Artisbe artists shows a woman enjoying a warm summer day with a book in her hand. The expression of relaxation and joy on her face is enhanced by the light being cast across it from outside the window. The bright use of colors gives the scene energy, while her activity is very casual. It is both modern in style but allows for a traditional subject to be appreciated. This gives the audience an inviting setting where they too could enjoy a good read.