It’s that time of year again in Australia, where the land becomes brown and dusty, I’m stuck inside to avoid the heat, prepping for Christmas, looking at artwork from the Northern Hemisphere, where 90% of humankind live.
It’s that time of year in Australia, when it starts to get uncomfortably hot and I start looking at pictures of snow.
Snow, warm yellow light coming out of cosy buildings, villages coming together, decorated trees, love, bell towers, churches, white people… The illustrations below are largely from 20th century illustration and convey the Christian American hygge of December.
I’m not sure if Victorian sends of Christmas cards were having a laugh or if they enjoyed a genuinely creepy aesthetic. Probably a bit of both.
Pianos in art tend to feature women (rather than men). Piano art also quite frequently features cats. In the public imagination, cats and women are linked. Where there is a man, he’s statistically more likely to be gazing at the woman playing piano than actually playing himself.
Where do artists stand when they do these paintings? (On a bridge, perhaps, or waist-deep in water.)
For examples of indoor lighting in art and illustration see A History of Home Lighting. Below is a collection of art featuring outdoor lighting and hand-held lanterns.
Below is a collection of ships… but these ones aren’t at sea. They’re on the dock getting built, or fixed. They’re anchored in a harbour, or about to be. This emphasises their size.
Artificial intelligence will eventually replace us all… maybe. But not yet. However, AI software can help produce some pretty amazing artworks already.