I love pictures that tell a story, don't you? Sometimes it's hard to tell what that story is, but the title of this one, painted in 1887 by Sir William Quiller Orchardson (1832-1910), is The First Cloud. They're newly-weds then, obviously, and this is their first quarrel. But could we guess what it's about?
Actually 'Young Woman Reading' (1875). The painter is Lucius Rossi (Italian, 1846-1913), who doesn't seem to have a Wikipedia entry. I like this -- I like the way he's included so much of the lovely room, even a bit more of it reflected in the mirror, but also managed to keep the girl as the focus. I love her relaxed pose, and the way the carpet is rucked up, which she obviously isn't aware of or doesn't care about as she's too absorbed in what she's reading. And what is it? A letter?
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).