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Showing posts from July, 2018

Hanna Pauli, Swedish Gem

Breakfast-Time, 1887

Born in Stockholm on January 13 , 1864 Hanna Hirsch-Pauli was a Swedish juste milieu portrait painter. Hanna studied in Paris where she met many other female Nordic artists like herself, including Finnish sculptor Venny Soldan whom she later painted. Pauli's work is characterized by an earthiness, natural and authentic...her portraiture has a profound honesty and individuality that is rare. Comfortable both indoors and out, she painted everything with an ease and grace that is definitely worth observing here.

In Breakfast-Time above, Pauli turns an ordinary table cloth into a thing of magic. Look closely at it. Pauli scumbles cool, violet hues into the shadows with unusual patches of orange and green-blues with thick, bright highlights to indicate reflected dappled sunlight. That bright mass of sunlit highlight appears contrary to our instincts as painters, yet here it is not only courageous but brilliant. The paint is so thick it was probably applied with a p…