Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sunday 6th December - Winter

I'm going to have to make this quick (as the actress said to the bishop) because I have a million and one things to do today.  Lily-Rose, my daughter, is a decade old today and therefore there is cake and helium to organise.

On with the muffs!

Winter (1882) Francesc Masriera
Possibly a contender for the fluffiest muff in art history, today's post is about Francesc Masrier and his chilly, chilly Winter. Masrier (1842-1902) was a painter and goldsmith from Barcelona and was born into a family of painters, set designers and silversmiths. His father was also a painter and encouraged his son, who went on to study in Geneva, Paris and Rome. Whilst in Paris, it is believed he met the painter Alexandre Cabanel, but it was whist in Rome that he started to paint the subjects that would become connected to his name...

Salome (1888)
He became well known for his depictions of exotic beauties with their boobs to the wind, or 'Orientalism' as I gather it is called.  For some reason which escapes me, paintings of semi-naked ladies with little to cover their small change but some gold chains and a haphazardly folded tablecloth were popular during the nineteenth century and so a large proportion of Masriera's output seems to have involved such subjects. Although there are a few moments like this too...

Mary Magdalene (1895)
Heavens to betsy, I bet that would get people into church. Moving on...

I love Masriera's girl with her fluffy muff because it's such a simple pictures but so luxuriously detailed.

It's so FLUFFY!!!
That is a wonderful depiction of fur, so shimmery in the light.  You can almost feel it on your face as she peeps over it, presumably at some nice looking chap.  I love how she doesn't appear to be a tease, rather a little shy and uncertain, her facial expression a little unsure of what she is doing.  To emphasise this, the edge of her glove is just folded at the edge and her bangle seems a little large as if this is the first time she's been out on a husband-hunt and she hasn't quite perfected her game yet.  I think she's adorable and so that's why I made her the postergirl for Muffvent...

I have a masters degree in Victorian art and literature,
my father is so proud.
Anyway, before I go and hoover all the things in readiness for a birthday party, I ought to recommend a present...

Today my present is just for you.  I want you to have a sit down and a drink and not worry about anything for a bit.  Even if you can only manage that for about 10 minutes I think you need a break because this time of year can be so busy and stressful it's easy to forget to look after yourself.  You've been doing a great job, there is plenty of time and it will all get done so have a little bit of a sit and relax.  I really appreciate that you've spent some time reading my post and I hope you enjoyed it.  It always makes me so happy when I see that people read my nonsense and I hope that the muffs make you equally as merry. Christmas can be a right sod for making us feel stressed, alone and inadequate.  We are bombarded with images of how happy we should be, how much stuff we should be buying, how much stuff we should be effortlessly cooking then eating with our enormous and grateful family. Well, we all known it doesn't work out like that; there isn't enough time or money and most of the time our families aren't enormous or grateful and instead of looking glamorous, you are on the sofa in your late aunt's dressing gown regretting Googling 'Victorian muff' without the safe-search on.
If it all gets too much for you, talk to someone.  If you don't feel you can talk to anyone near you, then talk to a stranger (for example the Samaritans) but please know you are not alone and you can sort it all out with a bit of time, help and peace and quiet.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you have taken the opportunity to have a bit of a rest, after all we have another 18 muffs before Christmas and at least one of those is going to be absolutely filthy, I promise.

See you tomorrow...


  1. I love your sense of humour, thank you. Postergirl's muff is magnificent in its muffyness. Can't abide a mimsy muff. Happy birthday to Lily-Rose!

  2. Absolutely love Miss Muffvent 2015! Has she a cousin who has a thing about spiders, I wonder?? (And a future filthy posting? You? Never! (Ahem.)

  3. Happy birthday to Lily-Rose and thank you for this beautiful post, I love the Victorian age and everything about it, I have studied it a lot and still I'm deepening it, I think I'll never stop ... I'm truly charmed by it :)
    Sending hugs

  4. Thank you all for your comments. Lily had a lovely birthday and I am feeling very old indeed!

    On with the muffs!


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx