The Reading Woman: A Good Book

Paul Gustave Fischer: A Good Book (November 2, 1905)


Paul Gustave Fischer (1860-1934), a popular Danish painter known for his realistic depictions of city and later beach scenes, was also a magazine and children’s book illustrator. Although his work was not critically recognized, he was a popular artist, and was most successful with his designs for posters.

I like the warm look of this painting, the multi colored furniture all jumbled close together, the trickle of ivy growing up along the wall, the rumpled throw on the back of the chair. The reading woman herself appears comfortable and peaceful, engrossed in her book but not so much so that she wouldn’t welcome a visitor dropping by for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. I covet her cranberry colored skirt, her soft blouse with the faintest of red polka dots, what looks like a red ribbon in the back of her lovely, thick hair. Her cheeks have the faintest of blushes, as if she might be reading something romantic or even a tiny bit risque.

This particular woman reading is very inviting, and does most certainly make me want to curl up with a good book.





7 thoughts on “The Reading Woman: A Good Book

  1. I love the painting for all the reasons you state, but I don`t think she looks very comfortable, holding the book up as she is doing. I know that I wouldn`t be comfortable reading that way. I have the book on my knees, supported by a cushion. Just a minor point about a lovely painting!


    • That’s an interesting point..I tend to hold my books at about that angle, so I didn’t notice her position. I don’t sit up straight like that, though, but I think women in those days were taught to sit with “proper posture” all the time!

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