The Reading Woman: A Girl Reading in an Interior

Each year, my friend gives me The Reading Woman calendar, a beautiful date book filled with page after page of art work dedicated to the theme or women reading.

Just think about that for a minute. 

Artists choosing women doing something as ordinary as reading as subjects for their work. 

It elevates reading to something of an art form itself, doesn’t it? 

So from time to time, I’d like to share some of these masterpieces with you.  Many of them are familiar, but on occasion, something new will appear.

What I love about this one (A Girl Reading in an Interior, by Peter Ilsted)  is the shaft of sunlight piercing through the window, even though our reader is herself in shadow, perched rather precariously on the edge of a small stool.  She seems to have stopped momentarily just there, stealing a moment to finish a particularly absorbing portion of her story.   Her drab dress and rather lank, dark hair make me wonder if she might be a servant or perhaps the governess, waiting outside the nursery for her charge to awaken from a nap.

Art and stories go hand in hand, don’t they? 

About the Artist: 

Peter Ilsted (1861-1933) was one of the foremost turn of the twentieth century artists in Denmark.  His art expresses the essence of life in Copenhagen at the turn of the twentieth century:  tranquility and orderliness, contentment with home and family and the isolation from the political and social turmoil in the countries to the south.  He was one of a group of Danish artists known for works of sun-filled rooms utilizing subtle colors, simplistic interiors inhabited with one or more figures.


15 thoughts on “The Reading Woman: A Girl Reading in an Interior

  1. That painting soaked in golden light just draws you right into that room. Thanks for letting us now about the calendar. The act of reading does put us into such a room.

  2. This is a beautiful post! I love the picture as well, and did a double take when I first landed on your post’s title as the picture I chose for my ‘header’ is Woman Reading In An Interior by Carl Holsoe (also a Danish painter). We are so alike, you and I.

  3. I want that Reading Women calender! I have a slight obsession with artwork of people reading. I’m on the lookout for one (or some) to hang in my room. There’s something so alluring about watching somebody read.

  4. Pingback: Video Games & Literature « The Literary Table

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