Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Picture Book - A.R. Middleton Todd

A.R. Middleton Todd, The Picture Book, 1939, oil on wood, 356 x 454 mm, Tate.

By the 1930s, even in Britain, you could include a slight Impressionist patina to your work without people assuming you wanted to fire-bomb Parliament.  This is a nice slice of England, well away from the Modernist fire-bombs, also perhaps showing the influence of the Euston Road School.  The appliance of paint on the blouse enjoyably mirrors the petals on the flowers, while the fact that the subject looks away from the picture book, lost in thought either about what she's just seen or something else entirely, adds some rudimentary psychological depth.  The best thing here, is the potato-like sofa.  I can feel the lumps.

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