Monday, 24 December 2012

24th December - The Poor Actress' Christmas Dinner

Well, dear readers, here we are at Christmas Eve, and today's image is one I have had saved on my computer since Boxing Day last year.  I can't believe I hadn't seen it before it randomly came up as the front cover picture on the Bridgeman Art page as their Christmas image.  I cursed them verily as it is so very beautiful I wish I had used it.  Here it is...

The Poor Actress' Christmas Dinner (1860) Robert Braithwaite Martineau
Although it is an unfinished picture, what we have is perfection.  I would happily argue that the woman has one of the most beautiful faces in Victorian art, as it is definitely a rival for Lizzie Siddal in Ophelia, who gets far more press...

I really wish he had finished this canvas - look at her expression.  She seems despairing, blank and tired, which is at odds with the fact that she is an actress, who must spend all her professional time emoting.  She supports her head with one hand, while the other is about to cut the little pudding that is her dinner...

The holly is bigger than the pudding!  It doesn't look so bad, but it is small and a bit sad, dressed up with some greenery.  In a way it is a reflection of the actress - she is 'poor' but wears showy golden earrings, a bit of dressing to make her seem more resplendent than she is.  In the same way, her little sad pud is dressed up to make her feel better.  She is her pudding!  Well, they do say you are what you eat...

Well, my darlings, I hope you all have a happy Christmas and thank you for your many comments and emails over this Blogvent.  I hope all your puddings are bigger than your holly, your muffs are toasty and that you all get a chair.

I will see you in a few days time...


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of your Blogvent posts; thank you so much for all the hard work and thoughtfulness you have put into it all. Yuletide and New Year Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful parade of Victorian delights! They were a pleasure to see, every single day.

  3. It's truly been my pleasure. This year has been marvellous fun, discussing pictures and traditions with you lot. I only wish I could have you all round for Christmas dinner :)

  4. Kirsty, your Blogvent has been the highlight of my festive season! You make it look easy but I'm sure it isn't especially at this busy time of the year. Happy Holidays to you and yours .

  5. I am all about having no money but kickin' the STYLE anyway! Happiest of Yuletides from Long Island!

  6. a work of truly explosive composure

  7. Happy Christmas my dear friends, and I hope you all had more than a little pud! xx


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