Random Images: The Burdens of War

Here we have a vision of respite for some girls in war-torn China.

In far-off China, ravaged and torn by war, volunteers from these organizations [Boy and Girl Scouts] work side by side with their elders, carrying a man-sized burden of war work on their shoulders. -Corbis Images

Girl Scouts - China's Youth Marches On (1944)

(Photographer Unknown) – China’s Youth Marches On (1944)

From the Bettmann Archive

Random Images: A Christmas Illustration

Although illustrators were used to advertise a wide range of products, this image seems only to portray a general ambiance for the Christmas season.  It may have been printed in a magazine, perhaps in association with holiday recipes.

19th-Century Illustration of a Young Girl Preparing for the Christmas Season (c1900)

(Artist Unknown) – 19th-Century Illustration of a Young Girl Preparing for the Christmas Season (c1900)

From the Bettmann Archive

Random Images: Scott’s Emulsion

Although many physicians swore by the benefits of cod-liver oil as a routine supplement, there was always the long-standing problem of its nauseating taste and convincing children to take it.  Alfred B. Scott and his partner Samuel W. Bowne began using some primitive chemistry to produce their famous, more palatable formula.

Scott's Emulsion of Pure Cod Liver Oil with Hypophosphites of Lime Soda Advertisement (c1890)

(Artist Unknown) – Scott’s Emulsion of Pure Cod Liver Oil with Hypophosphites of Lime Soda Advertisement (c1890)

In addition to the use of children, some appeal to patriotism was applied here as well.

From the Bettmann Archive

It’s Not Pink! Alix Marquet

Alix Marquet was a French sculptor, born in Nièvre in 1875 and died in Paris in 1939. His father Charles Marquet was a stonemason, giving young Alix an early interest in stone as a medium for expression. He also had some early drawing talent which caused the postmaster of his town, Henri Ferrier, who also happened to be a painter to take an interest in the 14-year-old boy and foster his budding artistic interests. With the assistance of some other gentlemen Alix moved to Paris as a teen and began his career as a sculptor. His first work, a bust of his own father, was accepted in the Salon in 1893, when he was just 18 years old. In 1901 he won his first medal at Salon, taking third prize for his piece L’imploration. Two years later he took second prize at Salon with Fin de Labeur. In another two years he at last took first prize, winning for Ceux qui restent.  If you guessed that he would win his next big prize in two years, you’re right! Marquet took the esteemed National Prize for the very piece we are about to look at, Il n’est pas de rose…

The title stems from the fact that the word ‘rose’ in French means both the familiar flower and the color pink. Naturally a little French child might associate the flower and the color and be confused when they see a rose that isn’t pink. The sweetness and innocence in this simple error endears this little girl to us. I happen to have several series of images devoted to this piece although most of them are not very big. But it should help you get a good idea about what this lass looks like in the round.

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (1)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (1)

A cute toddler trait: curling the toes underneath the foot.

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (2)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (2)

Here you can see she still has some of her baby fat as her belly protrudes somewhat. It’s also adorable how she gnaws on her pinkie finger as she considers the paradox of the rose that isn’t rose-colored.

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (3)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (3)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (4)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (4)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (5)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (5)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (6)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (6)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (7)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (7)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (8)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (8)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (9)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (9)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (10)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (10)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (11)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (11)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (12)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (12)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (13)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (13)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (14)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (14)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (15)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (15)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (16)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (16)

I do have one other piece by Marquet to show you, but unfortunately I only have one image for it and it isn’t the best. C’est la vie.

Alix Marquet - Le passé, le présent, l'avenir (1931)

Alix Marquet – Le passé, le présent, l’avenir (1931)

Arthur B. Davies

Arthur Bowen Davies (1862–1928) was an American Symbolist artist, who enjoyed great success in his lifetime. In 1924, the art collector Duncan Phillips, founder of Washington’s Phillips Collection, wrote, “Arthur B. Davies is already recognized, not only in this country but in Europe, as one of the few men of original and authentic genius among the painters of our contemporary world.” However, like many artists featured on Pigtails in Paint, his work is not well-known today. He is mainly remembered for organizing the Armory Show which introduced modern European painting styles into early 20th Century America.

Arthur B Davies Two Nude Girls ca. 1915

Arthur B. Davies – Two Nude Girls (c1915)

I came to be interested in work like Davies’ when I was in college taking a course on existentialism and reading books like Kierkegaard’s Sickness unto Death. The vitality of the paintings of young girls by early 20th Century artists seemed to counter such pessimism. It is my intention in my posts to put the figurative works in a cultural context which will enrich one’s understanding of the work. Most articles I find on American early 20th Century artists only give biographical information without recognizing the symbolic content of the work. There appear to be hundreds of paintings and sculptures of young girls which were executed from the 1890s until the 1920s, since such images of girls were very rare in earlier times. The works must reflect a cultural development. I believe the tendency reflects a return of what Plato called the Celestial Venus. An article that covers more of Davies’ nudes can be found on Celestial Venus.

Arthur B Davies The Mountaineers 1913

Arthur B. Davies – The Mountaineers (1913)

Davies also experimented with a cubist style for a short time. I know I have been critical of Duchamp and Picasso but I will admit I like some of their cubist works. But most cubist paintings amuse me in a way, which is similar to the amusement I have from looking a gaudy 1960s fashion; what were they thinking? An example that guys should understand: it’s like the cheesy wah wah guitar effect, which now sounds corny. It appears that Davies could not accept the aesthetics of Cubism since he never fragmented the figures as Picasso did. Davies’ Cubist paintings reflect that he was only appealing to a fad.  In contrast, many of his figurative works are timeless. That’s what is special about a nude, since the person is not wearing clothes which reflects a time period; very often a nude is timeless.

Arthur B. Davies - Heart's Hansel (1916)

Arthur B. Davies – Heart’s Hansel (1916)

Arthur B Davies Drawing ca. 1920

Arthur B. Davies – Drawing (c1920)

Random Images: Little Red Riding Hood

The next two images come from the Bettmann collection and are illustrations involving Little Red Riding Hood.  Any help on identifying the artist or book these may appear in would be much appreciated.

A reader came forward with some preliminary information (see comment below), and an associate gave a few more details.  The story is written by Maria A. Hoyer and, as stated below, published by Ernest Nister.  There is also an approximate date.

Bettmann - Illustration of Wolf Approaching Little Red Riding Hood

(Artist Unknown) – Illustration of Wolf Approaching Little Red Riding Hood (c 1890)

According to the caption, the following image came from a slide taken of a lithograph.

Bettmann - Illustration of Little Red Riding Hood

(Artist Unknown) – Illustration of Little Red Riding Hood (c1890)

From the Bettmann Archive