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.
This is called Forbidden Reading, by Désiré Honoré Bérard (born 1845). The artist. obviously French, does not appear on Wikipedia, but I did find out that this painting, dated 1884, sold at Christies a few years ago for 3000 euros. They actually titled it Forbidden Lecture, which is obviously an incorrect translation of the French title (lecture=reading).
I assume she is the maid, and wants to read one of her master's books - or is she a family member dipping into some naughty reading matter? I think the costume and the rather pert pose suggests a member of the lower orders. There are quite a few paintings of maids reading - I've shown a couple on here fairly recently - probably an essay could be written on it as sub-genre, but not by me.
This powerful and perhaps slightly disturbing portrait is by the Swiss-French artist Felix Vallaton (1865-1925). For reasons I have not been able to discover, it's called 'La Retour de la Mer' (the Return of the Sea). If anyone can explain the title, or even suggest a plausible guess, I'd be happy for any suggestions.
This is 'Portrait of the Artist's Children, the twins John and Sylvia' by the distinguished Canadian painter Edmund Wyly Grier (1862-1957), painted around 1909. I spotted it on a blog I visit, Cosy Books. He made his name with portraits of 'politicians, corporate leaders and other notable contemporaries', but I think we prefer to see him here at his most charming and domestic. I must confess I thought it was two girls till I read the title - a reminder that little boys were very girlishly dressed at this period.
This is 'The Young Reader' by Miguel Mackinlay (1895–1958). He was born in Spain to a Spanish mother and a Scottish father, hence his interesting name. He seems to have spent his early years in Australia and subsequently studied at St Martins School of Art in London. He apparently lived in England for the rest of his life. It would be nice to know more about him - I'm guessing this is his own daughter.
This is Henrietta Reading, by Henry Taylor Lamb (1883 – 1960), an Australian-born British painter. A follower of Augustus John, Lamb was a founder member of the Camden Town Group in 1911 and of the London Group in 1913. Henrietta was his daughter by his second wife, the rather wonderfully named Lady Pansy Packenham. She grew up to be a landscape gardener under her married name, Henrietta Phipps.
This lovely painting is by the Russian artist Serge Petrovich Ivanoff (1893-1983), of whom I must admit I'd never heard till I spotted the picture. It's obviously a portrait but I haven't been able to discover who the sitter was.
This intriguing painting is called 'Forbidden Books', by the British artist Alexander Mark Rossi (1840-1916). This is apparently his best-known work, and you can see why -- it tells a story, and we all love that. I assume it's taking place in a school or college, but you do wonder what the books are and why, if they are so shocking, they are apparently available on the open shelves of the library. What's in them to absorb the girls so much? And the eavesdropper seems to be rather unhealthily absorbed in their discussion.