This painting is by Sally Storch, an American artist born in 1952. I've edited this post from yesterday as I was misinformed by a website that said she was a man. Of course she isn't, as a kind commenter pointed out below. In fact here is her website. She was influenced by Edward Hopper, as you can see.
Yes, I know I put up a painting yesterday, and this isn't a woman reading or writing or doing anything else, but who can resist a cat? This is by the British painter John Hoppner (1758-1810). In fact this is a detail from one of his portraits, 'Young Woman and Boy holding a Cat'. But I just fell in love with the cat, probably because it's very like one of my own kittens. Here's the original, also very sweet.
Felix Valloton, Interior with Two Figures (1904) is the title of this painting. I find it really intriguing for at least two reasons. First of all, the composition is interesting -- the carpet and the bed in the foreground, the two women in the middle distance, the standing woman, and the bed, reflected in a mirror. And then, of course, there's the story the picture tells. Not a particularly unusual one, but so very much of its time -- the comfortable bourgeois household, the woman about to go out -- visiting, perhaps -- the maid crouching over the mending. I get the feeling she's waiting for her wrap to be mended before she goes and I wonder very much about the relationship between these two.
This painting, kindly sent to me by Ruth Marler, is by the Russian artist Marie Bashkirtseff (1858-1884). You can see from those dates that she was only 25 when she died, from tuberculosis. According to Wikipedia,
From the age of 13, Bashkirtseff kept a journal, and it is for this that she is most famous. Her personal account of the struggles of women artists is documented in her published journals, which are a revealing story of the bourgeoisie. Titled I Am the Most Interesting Book of All, her popular diary is still in print today.
I'm sorry to say I'd never heard of her, but she sounds like a fascinating woman. I'm wondering if the painting above might be a self-portrait, as I think I see a resemblance to her photo (from Wikipedia).
Painted by the Belgian artist Charles Baugniet (1814-1866), this is a picture which certainly tells a story. It's called 'The Letter', and she's obviously in the middle of writing one, but a) it's being done in haste, otherwise she'd be sitting down, and b) she seems vey anxious in case somebody catches her doing it. That's my reading of it, anyway, and it screams adultery to me. But maybe there's another interpretation? Hasn't he done a lovely job of her dress, by the way!
This sweet image was sent to me by Dark Puss, that indefatiguable seeker out of paintings and info about them. I wonder if his eyes are better than mine? I can see a signature at the bottom right hand corner, but when I zoom in the letters go blurry.
This pretty picture was sent to me by Dark Puss, who, unusually for him, had not found out anything about it. I haven't either -- best listing I have found says "A Summer Beauty, English, 19th Century". As Dark Puss commented to me, she looks like she is reading a Victorian version of a tablet with that light shining on her face. Anyone else got any ideas?