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Picturing a World

Italian plaster-cast sellers

When I wrote Where the Light Falls, I knew that Italians worked as bus conductors and artists' models in Paris, but nothing about them as sellers of plaster-cast images. Von Stetten's painting opens up a new topic for investigation, and just a few clicks have already landed me on an article about the plaster figure trade in London. More concrete detail for a story about the intersection of commerce and art!
 
For an etching of an itinerant plaster cast seller in London, click here.

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Winter creamery

Website tip: This Parisian street scene by Victor Gabriel Gilbert is part of February 1st Sotheby's auction. I wish I remembered more often to check auction house and gallery websites—they are such valuable resource for details of everyday life. Here, for instance, notice the bellows and the charcoal brazier on which the pots sit. Genre pictures can also raise questions about everyday life to follow up: What exactly is the woman on the right doing? And what is the green-stuff on the shelf under the Café au Lait sign?

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Gilbert’s Market Day

Besides the great central food market, Les Halles, there were, of course, lots of neighborhood street markets throughout Paris in the 19th C. While poking around after finding yesterday’s painting by Béraud of Les Halles, I came across this picture by Victor-Gabriel Gilbert,  Read More 
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Parisian posters

On Sunday, I attended the opening lecture for a new exhibition at the Clark Art Institute, The Impressionist Line: From Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec, which examines works drawn or printed on paper. The show runs through January 1, 2018, with several talks and activities  Read More 
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Telling, little details

When Jeanette goes into her first bakery in France, she notices the white cards with prices written in a Continental hand. Those price cards and their style of numbering had stuck in my mind ever since my student days in France, so it’s not surprising that I smiled this morning when I saw  Read More 
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Marie-François Firmin-Girard

Blog post alert:> Thanks to a post at Line and Colors for introducing me to Marie-François Firmin-Girard. I love finding pictures that I might have used for Where the Light Falls had I come upon them in time.  Read More 
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Old London

Blog alert: Every morning, I check the blog Spitalfields Life. Today’s post, A Walk in Long Forgotten London is one of several devoted to Walter Thornbury’s Old & New London, an 1873 compilation of engravings of the London that was already disappearing when it was published.  Read More 
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Petit Honoré

It was great fun to invent the Petit Honoré where Robbie Dolson takes Jeanette and Effie instead of to Tortoni’s—so much fun that I made the café a favorite of Effie’s. (Generally speaking, if someone or something is important enough to  Read More 
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Votes for Women in Cincinnati

Of course, this should have been posted on Monday with an exhortation to vote (I hope you did). If you find the results of Tuesday's elections depressing, remember our foremothers worked and worked and kept working despite.

The Library of Congress captions this photograph, "Miss Louise Hall with brush and Miss Susan Fitzgerald assisting bill posting in Cincinnati."  Read More 
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Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee

I’m headed today for Bristol, where the Virginia/Tennessee state line runs right down a main street. Tomorrow at 10 A.M., I’ll be reading at the public library.

Readers: Doesn’t this picture invite story-telling?  Read More 
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