Today I would like to share ‘A Carriage to the Ball’ by English painter William Bromley. I find this work charming because it shows a group of children as they pretend to travel to a grown up event. Presuming these four youngsters are siblings and that this cozy interior is their home, they are obviously from a wealthy family, and I imagine they have either seen their parents leave to attend formal balls or have read about them in stories. Whatever the case, it’s endearing to see them engage their imaginations in this manner, taking on adult roles in their little fantasy.
The young man, excitedly riding his toy horse, seems dedicated to getting his companions to the ball on time. His wooden steeds are tied to the decorative chair which operates as a carriage for the two angelic girls, while another young lady stands up from behind to sound a horn, signaling their arrival. This is a really wonderful painting, exhibiting the playfulness of youth and childrens’ fascination with grown up activities.
I also find this work appealing because as adults even we sometimes have to stay home, forgoing the grand party that a waits elsewhere in favor of minding our responsibilities. In those instances I can identify with our little companions in Bromley’s painting.
On a final note, the amount detail in this piece is incredible. Throughout the scene you’ll find a several different textures—including those supplied for the carpet, wallpaper, and the wooden horse—all rendered delicately by Bromley’s brush. Take some time to examine images below. You’ll also notice various items on the fireplace mantle, a curious painting hanging on the wall in shadow, and an angel figurine held by the girl in blue.