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Jameson Moore
Jameson Moore

The Over-Amorous Artist

The voluptuous Lady Charterley and her sizzling, sexy daughter Penelope are facing ruin. Their ancestral castle is in the hands of baliffs and up for sale. With the help of crazy, eccentric artist Owen who creates copies of old masters, and Jeremiah a young buck with a good eye for a quick deal (and a sexy figure) our heroines set about saving their home.

The Over-Amorous Artist

Sexploitation comedy about an aspiring artist. Alan and Sue switch roles: she goes out to work while he looks after the home and concentrates on his painting. However, he fails to anticipate the time-consuming attentions of various female neighbours. Horny artist Alan Street (John Hamill) has to fend off amorous female neighbours whilst his beautiful girlfriend (Sue Longhurst) is out at work.

Books on Pablo Picasso have the good sense to dwell on this century's greatest artist and the misfortune of having to live up to him. Many do not. But Picasso: The Early Years (Rizzoli; 559 pages; $160) by Josep Palau i Fabre succeeds in conveying the explosive creativity of its subject. The volume's 1,587 illustrations (361 in color) provide the fullest look anyone but a diligent art historian will ever have of Picasso's formative period. He was never an apprentice. In his early... To continue reading: responsiveAd(className: "subscribe-link",ads: [type: "desktop",size: "142x70",cm: position: "subscribebtn", type: "text",type: "tablet",size: "142x70",cm: position: "subscribebtn", type: "text",// Mobile 300type: "mobile",size: "142x70",config: zone: "219200",site: "28275",size_x: "142", size_y: "70",type: "-1"]); or Log-In

Tracy Fuad is a poet and artist from Minnesota. She is the author of the art book DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD (txtbooks, 2019), and her first collection of poetry, about:blank, was a finalist for the Jake Adam York Prize and the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Book Prize. Her writing has appeared in POETRY and has been anthologized by the Boston Review's anthology What Nature (MIT Press, 2018), among other places. She is a PhD candidate at the European Graduate School, and lives in Iraqi Kurdistan, where she teaches at a public university.

Genre painting has arisen (as numerous scholars have noted)in various times and places that are marked by material prosperity: seventeenth-centuryHolland, eighteenth-century England, mid-nineteenth-century America. Thenand there, it was a burgeoning middle class that provided patronage forgenre artists in unprecedented numbers and amounts. Their interest and supportinevitably had a bearing on the nature of the storytelling imagery thatemerged. "Since the middle-class tends to define itself in terms ofprivate rather than public life," observed Lesley Wright, "thefavored art forms also accentuate home, family, and domestic events. Withinthat smaller world, possessions, poses, descriptive detail, and appearancescarry the meaning, rather than action, drama, public display, architecture,or expression." She noted that American artists frequently investedeven their group portraits or conversation pieces with a rudimentary storyline, a reflection of the growing power of genre from the second quarterof the nineteenth century onward. "The story adds the dimension ofsentiment. . . [which] has the effect of orchestrating feelings, generalizingfrom the particular, making the painting part of a hegemonic trend."[95] The aim of such artists was, accordingto another scholar, "to fuse the narrator with the painter."[96]

In 1840, Francis William Edmonds scored an early triumphat the National Academy of Design's annual exhibition with the display oftwo canvases on the courtship theme, a motif that must have been especiallypoignant for the recently bereaved artist. Sparking, 1839 (fig. 26),and The City and the Country Beaux, circa 1839 (Sterling and FrancineClark Art Institute), earned kudos from the Knickerbocker's critic, whopraised them as "finished pictures; finished in 'the scope andin the detail.' The whole story is told," he wrote with admiration."No part is omitted, or slurred over. And it is here that so many ofour artists fail."[98]

That Edmonds's paintings told 'the whole story" suggeststhat the artist, like others of his generation, was interested in narrativethemes, whether drawn from literature or from daily experience. His firstoil painting on an original subject, Hudibras Catching the Fiddler,1829 (unlocated), was inspired by a Samuel Butler poem, and literary textsmotivated his imagination in later works as well. Edmonds's sources rangedfrom Gil Blas de Santillane by Alain-Rene Lesage (1715; U.S. editions,circa 1790-1820) to Tobias Smollett's novel Peregrine Pickle (1751)to works by his contemporaries, including Charles Dickens's PickwickPapers and verse by Robert Burns. The last was the likely inspirationfor Barking up the Wrong Tree, circa 1850-55 (cat. no. 21), a returnto the "sparking" theme of his early years, but now recast witha decidedly older swain. The mismatch between the suitor and the objectof his pursuit suggests an origin in Burns's poem, "To Daunton Me,"in which the speaker, a girl ("me so young"), vows "An auldman shall never daunton me!" with his flattery and false heart.[99] The figures are posed in a boxlike setting,derived from seventeenth-century Dutch art and favored by Edmonds for hisgenre scenes, most of which were situated indoors. Details reinforce thecontrast in the characters' ages. The young girl is flanked by a cupboardand door that swing open, with access to emblems of domesticity and a lightfilledroom beyond; the open door can be read as a metaphor for freedom, as traditionallyis the open window. By contrast, the man's side is walled in with hard rightangles and a looking glass that provides no egress from the confinement.Tartan plaid on the wall behind the girl suggests Burns's Scottish source,as does the caller's Scotch terrier and his ruddy complexion and sideburns,attributes of the Scottish type. The painter's tale is relayed through suchtelling details, as the gentleman presses his suit to no avail; his gazeis avoided by the knitter, who instead stares out at-and coyly unfurls herball of yarn toward -- the painter and the viewer.

Winslow Homer's Rab and the Girls of 1875 ( 33) might also deal with courtship, or the hope for same. The paintingwas first shown at the National Academy of Design the year after its creation,with the title Over the Hills. [100] In the academy's annual exhibition, it was overshadowed by Homer'snow-famous Breezing Up (A Fair Wind), 1873-76 (National Gallery of Art).What little critical attention Over the Hills received was devotedmore to formal issues than to the picture's subject: "The girls areadmirably drawn and painted though the artist has. . . unduly lowered thetone of the coloring," offered the New York Times, an examplecharacteristic of the critical ambivalence the painting inspired. Despitethe "hasty and imperfect painting" in the fore- and background,the reviewer (probably Charles De Kay) concluded that the two central figures'"reveal such power of handling as no one dreamed Winslow Homer possessed."[101] Nowhere in the discussion did the criticask what those two '"admirably drawn" women were doing in a cloverfield, and neither did any other reviewer. But in details both subtle andbold, Homer seems to offer clues to his pictorial story.

The artist's early practice as an illustrator had givenHomer a keen sense of the telling moment -- in literature, in life -- ascaptured in visual terms. From his debut in the late 1850s through the paintingsof the 1870s, in scenes of middle-class or military life, he had demonstratedhis ability to extract stories of interest from the routines of life abouthim. On occasion, he could add to those pictorial tales secondary or symboliclevels of meaning, sometimes disguising them beneath the ordinariness ofthe subject depicted. Nicolai Cikovsky cites Homer's Veteran in a NewField, 1865 (Metropolitan Museum of Art), as a prime example-perhapsthe prime example-of this tendency toward "a consciously and deliberatelysymbolic painting," in that case a post-Civil War rumination on death.'"Homer possessed both the intention and the intelligence to createsymbolic meaning," he noted, although rarely with such a momentoussubject as that in the Veteran. "But Homer's ability to invent symbolsand manipulate symbolic references becomes a potential of his pictorialpractice that any interpretation of his later art must take into account."[102]

The four-leaf clover that occupies a central position inHomer's composition also plays a central role in the symbolism through whichthe painting's "racy" tale might be related. The botanical oddityhas been accepted as a symbol of good luck since ancient times. In 1873the tiny, lucky quatrefoil had provided Homer with the subject and titlefor an oil painting (Detroit Institute of Art) in which it was held by ayoung girl and silhouetted against a suns truck wall. Luck could play arole in affairs of the heart as well as other human affairs, and amorousthemes played an unusually prominent role in Homer's work of the 1870s.In Shall I Tell Your Fortune?, 1876 (private collection), one ofthe artist's most exceptional works, love and luck are combined, as a comelyfortune-teller displays a hand of cards foretelling the viewer's (and theartist's?) romantic future. Such a romantic theme might be interpreted inRab and the Girls as well. The fresh greenness of the clover contrastswith the autumnal hues of foliage, seasonal associations that beg the question,Are the girls "over the hill," as the original title might imply?Or are they still eligible, still desirable examples of "perfect maidenhood"who, with luck (and clover), might avoid old-maidenhood? Homer, of course,was generally too masterful to resort to such obvious storytelling. Yetin subtle ways, he invests his scene with narrative details that elevateRab and the Girls beyond the "barren canvas" that ClarenceCook faulted as the sort of painting "Mr. Homer [produces] when hehas nothing to say and persists in taking a big canvas to say it in."[105] Consideration of its subject, not solelyits formal elements, might yield a pictorial narrative of unusual interest. 041b061a72


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