Reading is a girl-coded activity. I haven’t done any deliberate gender curation here — paintings and illustrations of women and girls with books, (love) letters and magazines are simply far more common. However, you will find far more
. men (fathers) reading newspapers Jessie Willcox Smith, 1905 Picture Books In Winter Alice in Wonderland (c.1879) by George Dunlop Leslie (English, 1835–1921) Honor Appleton (1879-1951) William-Adolphe Bouguereau Jan Catharinus Adriaan Goedhart (Dutch, 1893-1975) A young girl reading, 1929 ‘At the Breakfast Table.’ c1890s Carl Holsøe Saudade (Longing), by José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior, oil on carvas, 1899 A Summer Afternoon by Robert Emil Stübner (German, 1874-1931) Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919), peintre britannique. Une soirée à la maison, 1888 Winslow Homer (1836-1910) Boston, Massachusetts, Girl reading on a Stone Porch, 1872 Robert Berény (1887-1953) Eta is reading William McGregor Paxton. The Front Parlor, 1913 Adrian Paul Allinson (1890-1959) British painter, potter and engraver Olga Della-Vos-Kardovskaya (1875-1952) Behind The Book 1918 Russian artist Sergei Arsenievich Vinogradov (1869-1938). Woman with a book in the interior, 1915 Zbigniew Pronaszko (Polish,1885-1958) Istvàn Szönyi (1894-1960, Hungarian painter) 1908 Opvoeding van het kind, Education of the Child, Secessionist Style Dutch poster Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) Madame Hessel in a red dress reading Carl Holsoe (1863-1935) The Artist’s Wife Reading Interior of the Villa Maler (with reading lady on the veranda), ca.1930 by Carl Moll, Austrian Girl Reading by Harold Knight 1932 Béla Czene (1911-1999) Fashion Magazine (In the Studio), 1969 Nicolaas van der Waay (1855-1936, Dutch) Girl Reading A Book Walter MacEwen (American painter) 1860-1943 ‘Egmondse School’ of painting The Absent One On All Soul’s Day Marie Spartali Stillman – Beatrice Cover of 1904 Opel catalog (1904) art nouveau Felix Vallotton ‘Reading by Lamplight (Twilight Interior)’, George Clausen, oil on canvas, 1909 Konrad Krzyzanowski (1872 – 1922) By Candlelight, 1914, National Museum, Warsaw Felix Vallotton The house maid (1910) by William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869-1941) Elf Book Twilight Tales 1950 Rand McNally Walter Beach Humphrey (American artist and illustrator) 1892 – 1966, ‘Memories’ Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck, Girl Reading, 1904 Armand POINT (1860-1932) was a French painter, engraver and designer who was associated with the Symbolist movement. This is ‘La Légende Dorée’ from 1897 A Fireside Read by William Mulready c. 1825 Edwin Harris (English, 1855 – 1906) By Firelight People’s Home Journal February 1906 Peter Vilhelm Ilsted (1861–1933) Girl Reading a Letter in an Interior, 1908 Nikolaï Bogdanov-Belski 1892 Reading The Letter John Everett Millais (1829-1896, British) The Violet’s Message 1854 Thomas Benjamin Kennington – Reading the Letter Night Of The Letter by Dorothy Eden Edwin Georgi (1896-1964) impressionistic girls with book Interior With A Woman Seen From The Back 1904 by Vilhelm Hammershoi (Danish 1864-1916) Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (Danish, 1863-1935) Lady in Black Carl Vilhelm Holsöe (1863-1935, Danish) Reading By Candlelight Thomas Cantrell Dugdale (1880 – 1952) The light of the fire. Well, someone was reading but then she fell asleep I guess. Liberty, January 18, 1930 art by Leslie Thrasher Frank Bramley RA (English 1857–1915) Delicious Solitude 1909 Illustration from a 1953 Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad calendar Alois Heinrich Priechenfried (1867-1953 Vienna, Austria) Girls reading, 1939 by US photographer Dorothea Lange Eugeni Forcano. Barcelona, 1957
Very small boys are not considered masculine yet so it’s acceptable for preschoolers to do girly things. So here, finally, is a picture of a boy with a book.
James Chapin (1887 – 1975, American) Child At Window
Finally, a man with books.
Ilya Yefimovich Repin (Russian painter) 1844-1930 Eduard Swoboda 1814-1902