Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thursday 17th December - A New Year's Nocturne

Ugh.  I am ill.  I have the dreaded cold and so feel mildly unwell and filled with sneezes, so I am wrapped up in a blanket and feeling sorry for myself.  I will no doubt be better tomorrow and have loads of delicious medicine and so there is nothing to do but get on with it.

Right, on with today's offering...

A New Year's Nocturne, New York (1892) Frederick Childe Hassam
This is a decidedly elegant entry in Muffvent.  Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935) was a prolific American Impressionist, known for his impressive use of light.  This picture was painted after he returned from his stay in Paris where he embraced Impressionism which had just begun to find favour with American collectors.  He moved to New York in 1889 where he would spend the rest of his life, depicting its busy, modern streets in his modern style.

Winter in Union Square (1889-90)
Much in same way that the French Impressionists showed both urban and countryside scenes, Hassam turned his eye to New England where he and his wife had a house and produced the most spectacular, light-infused views...

Coast Scene, Isles of Shoals (1901)
That is the sort of painting we need on a dark day like today.  Look at that gorgeous light! It reminds me of Cornwall for the same cause and reason.
A City Fairyland (1886)
I love this image of winter.  The roads are all lined with tracks through the snow, and pin-points of light keep the hazy air a sort of orange-y glow.  Adults hurry about, wanting to  finish the shopping, get home, but the two children in the front of the canvas seem to be enjoying the snow.  It seems to be a comment on how we do not enjoy the beauty of the season, we just see the inconvenience, the cold, the hassle.  The snow brings an unexpected light to the depth of winter and lends a sort of magic to our everyday lives, if only we could appreciate it.
A New Year's Nocturne (detail)
Anyway, back to our original Winter-y scene. We have a couple in smart, evening dress, looking in a window, possibly on their way to the theatre.  It is the evening, and cold, hence the fact that the woman is bundled up with furs. She is looking in what I presume is a store window but her companion is looking at her which is sweet. On the bustling city street, there are many distractions but he only has eyes for her. The woman is picked out in light, from the paleness of her outfit to the gold of her hair, she is the focus of the canvas. The man's shirt reflects back some of that white, but she is who we are drawn to.  I love the folds of ribbon on her hat.  They are a modern couple, living in a modern city, but some things, like love, never change.

In honour of Tim Peake, our chap in space, today's pressie is out of this world...

You may remember the post I did on the beautiful Pre-Raphaelite collection from Eclectic Eccentricity.  Well, their current, very timely jewellery is based on space travel and the beauty of the universe.  I really love 'Over the Moon', a moon locket with a couple of shooting stars. There is also a brilliant spaceman necklace, and plenty of rockets and comets, all in silver and gold and very gorgeous.

You can buy this smashing piece (and may others) for £22.50 from here.

See you tomorrow...

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