I will start my April 2018 “Ball” series with a work by English painter Haynes King. Whereas many of March’s selections showed subjects in fanciful interiors—particularly those of the privileged class—King’s painting presents a setting one might identify as a cottage. Within this middling living space we observe a young woman preparing herself ready for that evening’s party.
I love how King spreads the light throughout the room, revealing the textures of the walls, floor, and table. Though the young woman is dressed rather modestly, King’s supplies her with a wonderful highlight that a certain majesty to her presence. The artist is using his craft to show his affection for the subject.
Of all the details in this scene, I most enjoy how the basket is used to perch our subject’s mirror. This is such simple yet revealing indicator of our subject’s humble standard of living.