10 thoughts on “Seamstresses in Fine Art

  1. I really enjoy your art selections, Lori. I have had the privilege of seeing many of the masters works while living in the Netherlands for a year back in the 80’s, at which time we also visited Paris so I have been in the Louvre. Seeing originals makes all the difference and gives one a whole different appreciation for art.
    We lived not far from the Kroller Muller Museum and the summer we were there they displayed over 200 of Van Gogh’s sketches. If memory serves me correctly that was the first time they had been on display. Very powerful work. I immediately recognized last weeks sketch as being his. I always like it when I can recognize an artist or composer.
    Thanks for broadening us also this way.

    • i am born dutch and came to New Zealand as a 13 year old! Stepping back in a country 30 years behind the times full of English lemon mouthed people we were shocked but now I could not live in Europe anymore, love it here!

  2. Yes, you are such a fount of knowlege and so generous to share it with us! It is deeply appreciated. Someday, I hope to send you a picture of a completed quilt and make you proud!!! Thanks again. Sandy

  3. This delightfully reminded me of Mrs Bale in the British TV series “As Time Goes By.” I could just imagine her setting everything in its proper place. Thanks for the memory.

  4. As so many of the “talented” he suffered a tragic life with his early demise becoming The Finale. His lack of guidance from parents consumed with “themselves” fed the darkness that engulfed him. How sad!
    In a Woman Sewing he demonstrates a trueness to be seen from the woman’s clogs (probably wooden) to her head covering; all captured as “She Was!”
    I enjoy studying van Gogh & rarely find any of his painting that isn’t “true to subject.”

    Thank you Lori.

  5. Is she grandma, aunt or protective neighbor? Is it his shirt she is mending? I love her one foot up on a stool…He really wanted to show her as she was and what he saw in her…I bet she was not a talker but showed her love with what she could contribute to meeting the needs folks had. Well, that;s my story! Wish we had been shown his drawings at art/university..only saw his paintings, Gertrude, did you see any of my story in his other drawings? ..just curious.. Lori, you have blessed us again!! thanks,

    • Marta, that was back in 1983 that we saw the sketches so I don’t remember a lot of details. I do know I was struck over and over again at how powerful all his subjects were. Even this scene, though it depicts something “simple”, the woman does not at all look weak. She has a look of inner strength. She did what she needed to do and appears to be at peace with it,
      I love your interpretation. I am not even remotely artistic (I am one of those who can’t even doodle without help 😉 ) so I don’t immediately interpret art work but paintings touch me none-the-less – just like good music even though I can’t play an instrument.

      • Your description is such a great role model for young women now! And you mention music…sometimes I am “sure” I hear music to Silent Sunday photos..And Terry, I think Mrs. Bale could have posed for this ! She probably thought she should do it for Lori’s sake….:)

  6. PS… I see something else…. her leg was raised due to her foot on stool.. That enabled her sewing area to be right in the light..I don’t think I could attempt that without my specs tho !! 🙂

  7. Wonderful is the artist who sees women subjects as people. It’s true Gertrude–such a powerful image with charcoals. Perhaps he was attracted to strength because it helped sustain him. How many of us could have endured his challenges? I don’t think I could have but his gave us such riches as these. Her hands are large and strong–hands that have grown larger with work. Her face is rugged and beautiful. That is the goodness I read here.

    She must have been far sighted to be able to sew so far away from her eyes. Pulling straight up on her thread like that makes me think she’s sewing on a button or darning a hole. She is steadying her work on her thigh which also makes me think of buttons or holes.

    One of my favorite things about visiting a museum with van Gogh’s paintings is noting how much paint he built up on the canvases to create his images–inches of it. He gives depth a new meaning in painting and drawing.

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