Go away, I am reading!

Velmi milý příspěvek ze stránky BookRiot, autorka: Rachel Cordasco

Impressionist painters: they were a motley group, radical for their time, daring, and adventurous. Their angle was to paint what they saw, rather than what they thought they should see, or what people expected them to see.

What does this have to do with books and reading? Well, I’m no art historian, but I noticed over the years that Impressionist painters have a bit of an obsession with readers. And not just any readers- women readers.

Why women? I could spout the academic view that women were often associated with novel reading in the 19th century, or I could spout the shallow view that Impressionist painters just loved how women in frilly dresses looked while they were engrossed in a good story. What I will say is that Impressionist painting and reading are perfect for each other, for a person who is deep in a good book is not really “there,” even if you think you see them. They are, in fact, traveling in another land and another time, and thus they’re slightly out of focus. As a reading woman myself, I am strongly drawn to these paintings of other women reading, even if we’re separated by more than a century. As you’ll also see, women painted many of these scenes, as if they were conjuring up the times when they were most happy.

And so, without any further ado, I bring you some of the greatest “go-away-annoying-people-can’t-you-see-I’m-reading?” Impressionist paintings.

“The Reader (Young Woman Reading a Book),” Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
“Girl Reading in a Salon,” Giovanni Boldini, 1876
“Pink Note: The Novelette” James McNeill Whistler, 1884
“Auguste Reading to Her Daughter,” Mary Cassatt, 1910
“A Woman Reading,” Claude Monet, 1872
“Reading With Green Umbrella,” Berthe Morisot, 1873
“Camille Monet Reading,” Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1872
“Isle of Shoals,” Childe Hassam


The Sketchbook by Eduardo Leon Garrido


Still-Life of Books by Jan Davidsz de Heem


Portrait of a Man holding a book by Rogier van der Weyden


St Catherine Reading a Book by Carlo Dolci


The Book Lover I by Frantisek Kupka

t_Van Gogh - Still Life Vase with Oleanders and Books

Still Life Vase with Oleanders and Books by Vincent Van Gogh


The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg


Reading A Book by Rudolf Ernst


Her Favorite Book by Pino Daeni


Young Maiden Reading a Book by Pierre-Auguste Cot


Bookshelves by Giuseppe Maria Crespi


A Young Girl Reading, or The Reader by Jean-Honoré Fragonard


Still Life with Books and Candle by Henri Matisse


A Good Book by Ludovico Marchetti

Young Woman with Book

Young Woman with Book by Edouard Manet


Book Transforming Itself into a Nude Woman by Salvador Dali


6 thoughts on “Go away, I am reading!

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