About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, December 31, 2017

bounding into the new year

Museum purchase funded by the Brown Foundation Accessions Endowment Fund
https://www.mfah.org (PD)
It's a beautiful day in the world of Sir Joshua Reynolds.  The year is 1777, and Mrs. Elisha Mathews, first wife of Francis Mathew 1st Viscount Llandaff, is posing in a gray dress that shows up well against the dramatically clouded sky.  This is a snapshot of a glamorous stroll for a poised, dignified gentlewoman 13 years married and the mother of an heir and a spare.  Now have a look at her dog, a pretty spaniel or setter, excited, happy, full of liveliness - all the feelings a fine lady cannot show openly if she wishes to stay dignified and fashionable, even though her face looks as if she's very well aware of her own good fortune.
I thought it was most clever of Sir Joshua to signal this lady's life and situation through her furry sidekick.  Also, this portrait reflects how I myself feel about the year to come:  soberly, wryly evaluating possibilities to myself, while another part wants to frisk and bark with hope and fresh days to come. 
Happy New Year's Eve to you all!

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