Hamilton Times Part 2: Art Style

Sophie Anderson the Indian Princess

Mr. Andrew and I visited the Hamilton Art Gallery where we saw a terrific exhibition called “Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th.” Basically it’s a survey of the galleries collections, organized to represent different themes, subjects and sensibilities. Of course, I was drawn to the portraits. These three images represent how fashion in portraiture can be fantastical, how it can serve as an inventory or how it can almost serve as the subject.

The painting above, called Toklihili, The Indian Princess by the 19th century French Artist Sophie Anderson, depicts an exoticized, Colonial vision of what a South Asian woman would look like. Although these jewels may have only existed in the artist’s imagination, I sort of want them to be real. Especially the sapphire necklace.

Portriat of a Lady Johannes Corneliuz Verspronck

Next up is Portrait of a Lady Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck. This 17th century Dutch were fairly plain in their dress, and their artists by no means glamourized their subjects. But they frequently show up in portraits heavily bejewelled. I don’t think this lady walked around all blinged out all of the time. I think these portraits also served as a chance to inventory their possessions.

Gil in a dotted dress, Emily COonan

Finally one of my favourite portraits of all time: Girl in a Dotted Dress by Canadian artist Emily Coonan. This image from 1923 was on the cover of one of my art history texts in University. Even though the painting is 90 years old, the girl (and her dress) still look stylish.