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Picturing a World

Kitty Kielland's Studio

I love the way this painting illustrates a young artist’s studio as a place to live. The plain floor and dormer window hint at upper-storey, cheap digs. I didn’t include potted plants in any of my characters’ studios, but they turn up in other paintings and would be part of making an apartment agreeable—just think what perfect details the wooden and basketry containers offer a writer for setting the scene.

The Asian fans and parasol are recognizable period accoutrements. A beach painting by the artist herself or a friend in a plain frame on the wall points to a way of life and a summer painting expedition, while the larger painting on the easel to the right is a reminder both of the artist’s activity (notice the brushes below) and of the convention of carven gilt framing.

I also, of course, like seeing the young woman (the artist? her companion?) reading!

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