Saturday, 5 December 2020

Saturday 5th December - The Kiss

So, we have made it to the first weekend of December!  Well done us! Hopefully, your Christmas shopping and general preparations are proving stress-free and filled with joy... who am I kidding?  It's a hellscape out there, and frankly the only sensible response is to sit under a blanket, swigging sloe gin and seeing how many mince pies you can eat before you feel weird.  Sorry, I'll pull myself together and get on with Snogvent.  Pucker up, it's time to get musical...

The Kiss by Francesco Brunery

This rather gorgeous offering is from Francesco Brunery (1849-1926), an Italian academic painter with an eye for the romantic, apparently...

I Will (no date)

Oh, hello... I do hope that the thing the young lady in the picture above has said she will is marriage and not something unseemly.  Do not be swayed by a gentleman in velvet knee breeches! Learn by my mistakes! He'll make you do all the work, you mark my words.  Also, his shoes are ridiculous. Sorry, what was I saying?  Oh yes, Francesco Brunery...

The Minuet (no date)

It's all priests and romance with his art, but it is rather lovely and reminded me of Walter Dendy Sadler, which is romance and monks (normally not at the same time or that would get weird). Brunery came from Turin but moved to Paris to study with Jean-Leon Gerome and Leon Bonnat. He is a veritable master of what is known as 'anecdotal genre painting', humorous images of everyday life with characters like flirty young ladies, vain young men and frivolous priests getting up to all sorts of shenanigans for our amusement.  Seeing as he might have had to leave France due to the Franco-Prussian war, maybe he felt the need to keep things light in the face of so much wretched devastation.

The Recital (no date)

It's funny because the red priest has just started playing Smoke on the Water and the purple priest is remembering their roadtrip to see the Sabbath at Scunthorpe Baths in 1978. What larks. Humorous priests aside, let's turn back to our snogging couple...


I'm reminded of Cecile and Danceny in Dangerous Liaisons - why on earth do parents pay for music lessons then leave their daughters alone with handsome young music teachers?  It will all end badly, I can feel it coming.  They'll arrange a recital for her in a year's time to show off how talented she's become and all she'll be able to play is chopsticks and one hand of the Can-Can really slowly. The shame.  Mind you, that's a lovely piano...

Gosh, if I had a piano that pretty, it would be a joy to learn how to play it properly. I played the organ (no sniggering) as a child, by which I don't mean anything as magnificent as this...


Oooh, can you imagine belting out The Old Rugged Cross on that one?  Lovely!  No, ours was more like this...


I was never any good, even though I could do a short burst of The Can-Can, but due to my lack of handsome young tutor, I could use both hands and do foot pedals. My Nan could play Feed The Birds with her terrier howling along in accompaniment which is an act I believe you could take on the road.  Sorry, I digress...


Do you think it's telling that the young man has all the music? Is she playing along to his tune, if you know what I mean? I suppose the idea was that parents wanted their daughter to have all the feminine artistic talents in order to snag a rich husband but it obviously a bad idea to have her tutored by an impoverished young man, as there is very little money in fiddling, if you excuse the expression.  Blimey, there would have been a fortune in being a female music teacher in the eighteenth century - far less likely to get some rich man's daughter pregnant during a lesson on Pachebel's Canon.

On that note, I shall see you tomorrow...

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