This is called Dolce Far Niente (Sweet to do Nothing) by Auguste Toulemouche (1829-1890). He liked to paint society women in beautiful dresses - Emile Zola apparently described them as 'Toulemouche's delicious dolls'. Very pretty.
This is apparently called The Parisians. Painted by Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), who was Italian but lived in Paris for most of his life. Wikipedia tells me he was called 'The Master of Swish' because of the flowing style of his paintings.There's something very relaxed about this picture of a lazy afternoon reading, or just gazing out of the window.
In fact called 'Afternoon Reading', this is by the Belgian artist Fernand Toussaint (1973-1956). You can find more of his paintings, mostly portraits of women, on a website devoted to him here. As I've said before, I have a special fondness for pictures of women viewed from the back, goodness knows why.
This is by the Victorian painter Arthur Elsley (1860-1952). He was apparently 'famous for his idyllic genre scenes of playful children and their pets', but here's a girl looking a bit sad. Or maybe the books just made her dreamy?
Last week we had a poet reading, this week it's a 'Lady Reading Poetry', which is indeed the title of this painting by the Japanese artist Ishibashi Kazunori (1876-1928) - the first Japanese artist I've shown on here, I believe. Born in Japan, he studied and painted in London and Europe for many years. It's said to be a portrait of an actress, but nobody seems to know which one. I like it a lot and am grateful to Rob for the link!
This is of course John Keats, painted by his friend Joseph Severn (1792-1879 in about 1821. Keats had become ill in London and his friend Severn agreed to go with him to Rome in search of a warmer climate. He nursed Keats assiduously for several months, but all to no avail - the poet died there in February 1821. During their stay Severn wrote a series of journal letters home, now greatly valued for being the only surviving information about the poet's final months.
This is simply called Seated Woman, painted by the French artist Jules Adolphe Goupil (1839–1883). Like many nineteenth-century painters he seems to be as interested in capturing the fabric of her dress as he is in the subject itself. But I'm intrigued by the pile of books in front of her - is she just using them as a book rest or is she engaged in some kind of research? I'd like to think that she is, but I suspect not. The dress is lovely, anyway.
I spotted this the other day and it reminded me how much I love the paintings of the great James McNeil Whistler (1834-1903). This is called Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Portrait of Mrs Frances Leyland, and very lovely it is.