Friday, June 16, 2017

Dressed or Draped in Red

Palma il Vecchio
Portrait of a woman
ca. 1520
oil on panel
Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan

Palma il Vecchio
Portrait of a Poet
ca. 1516
oil on panel
National Gallery, London

St John the Baptist in the Wilderness
ca. 1604-05
oil on canvas
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

David des Granges
The Saltonstall Family
ca. 1636
oil on canvas
Tate Britain

And so this poor, little, innocent mouse
Stepped fearlessly into the murderer's house.
On the fatal bench she took her seat,
Modestly showing her little feet,
To try the shoe  you seldom find
Such innocence and grace combined.

When lo! on a sudden this monster fierce
With murderous claws her neck did pierce
And bit off that poor little innocent head.
"Ah! ha! little creature, you're now quite dead!
The scarlet red slippers for you I will save,
And place them carefully over your grave,
Until the last trumpet sends forth its call
For you, little mouse, as well as for all,
And when, like the rest, you rise from the dead,
You then shall put on the shoes, scarlet red."

 from The White Mouse, printed in The Young Elocutionist, compiled and arranged by Misses Settle and Estabrook (San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft, 1882)

John Greenhill
ca. 1665
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

circle of Johann Carl Loth
Music Lesson
ca. 1675-1700
oil on canvas
Wilanów Palace Museum, Warsaw

Karel Dujardin
Woman with Cows on a Road
before 1678
oil on panel
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
Alexander contemplating the corpse of the dead Darius
oil on canvas
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

Nicolas de Largillière
Portrait of the actress Marie-Anne de Châteauneuf,
called Mademoiselle Duclos, in the role of Ariadne

ca. 1712
oil on canvas
Musée Condé, Chantilly

Joshua Reynolds
Portrait of Stephen Croft, Junior
oil on canvas
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Antoine de Favray
The Mirabita Sisters
ca. 1754-64
oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Alicia wore a scarlet gown,
     When the Sword went out to sea,
But Ursula's was russet brown:
     For the mist we could not see
The scarlet roofs of the good town,
     When the Sword went out to sea.

       *                    *                    *

O, russet brown and scarlet bright,
     When the Sword went out to sea,
My sisters wore; I wore but white,
     Red, brown, and white, are three;
Three damozels, each had a knight,
     When the Sword went out to sea.

 from The Sailing of the Sword by William Morris, first published in The Defence of Guenevere, and other poems (1858)

Arthur Devis
Portrait of James Duff
ca. 1800-1810
oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

John Singer Sargent
The Birthday Party
oil on canvas
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Ford Madox Brown
The Irish Girl
oil on panel
Yale Center for British Art

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
Italian Woman
ca. 1826-28
oil on canvas
Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo