R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,

Jan Frederik Pieter Portielje - Before the Ball (ca. 1870s)

Today I will share a work by Dutch painter Jan Frederik Pieter Portielje. Upon my first viewing this piece, it didn't stand out to me. Aside from the woman slipping on her shoe, this scene contains no action, nor does our subject appear to be interacting with anyone.

Fortunately, returned to this painting for another viewing and found myself appreciating qualities I had overlooked thr first time around. Closer inspection allowed me to discover Portielje's delicately rendered detail he supplied throughout the scene, producing several wonderful still-lifes which could operate independently. I really like the gloves on the tables as well as the subtle definition of her feet. I'm also impressed by Portielje's dramatic yet thoughtful use of darkened space around the subject, which immediately draws attention to her expression as she looks outward, creating a powerful portrait which leaves us questioning what's going through her mind as she prepares for that evening's ball.
Tags: before and after the ball march 2018
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