Wednesday, February 18, 2015
A Belated Valentine From Me
To all of you. May you always have chocolate cake and moments of sheer happiness.
And may you never be snowed in for three weeks in a row as this area of the country is experiencing (chews on walls), may you always remain sharp thinkers with loving hearts.
Is that enough smooching for you?
If not, have a look at this needlepoint I didn't bid at Goodwill online auctions though I thought about it (click on it to make it bigger):
The needlepoint looks like a copy of a painting or an etching and has a definite Victorian flavor. It could even be Victorian. The man in the picture is carrying his bride against a background of fantastic nature. His arms look too long, his legs are very very muscular, and his feet about three times as long as her little slippers. The red cheeks on both of them are wonderful!
All that and the hairstyle and clothing of the man suggests something in the early Victorian period for the original which was used to create the needlepoint.
Then to the sociological commentary which is obligatory on this here blog:
Needlepoint was something which gained much popularity during the Victorian era, what with the renewed emphasis on separate spheres for middle-class women and men and the myth of those women as the "angels of the house," responsible for the care of the stressed men once they returned home after a hard day's work.
In reality more affluent women had suddenly a lot more time on their hands. That was partly solved by the Victorian fad of excessive house decoration, the creation of little tablecloths for every surface, the working of anti-macassars* and so on. Needlepoint was particularly popular because it adds up more rapidly than most types of embroideries and because of the inventions in textile dying which allowed a much greater scope for the color effects visible in the above piece than was the case earlier.
I have no idea if the artist creating this work lived in the Victorian era. But that's the flavor the work gives me. But mostly it's really fun in all sorts of odd ways.
It's fun to think how future generations will view our ways of depicting lovers and which sociological aspects (eg hairstyles, makeup, exaggerated body proportions) will draw their attention.
*These can still be found in flea markets and yard sales. I have quite a few!