Before publishing my last post, I searched for paintings of girls of various complexions to be included in the portraits I shared, but between the time period and my need to use only public domain pictures, my choices were limited. Rather frustrating, since nine different countries were represented in that post.
For this second part of the post, I’m not limiting myself to girls reading by themselves, but instead I will also be sharing groups and pairs. I had already planned it this way—one post of solo portraits and one post of paintings with multiple models, so you can imagine my delight in spotting an almost hidden book in this breathtakingly beautiful Japanese silk painting.The above is entitled Two Girls by the Sea and is signed Kafu, but with no other information as to the true identity of the artist. It was painted on silk c. mid-1920s and now resides in the Honolulu Museum of Art.
This next painting also has a bit of mystery (at least to me). It was created circa 1901, but I haven’t figured out how to spell the artist’s name and therefore I have no information on him. The name is in a language with symbols I can’t figure out. (Russian?) You’ll find his signature in the bottom left corner. (Makobck..?) If anyone has any ideas, let me know!
There are many paintings by French painter Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919) depicting girls reading books. One was in the last post and after deleting three other options of pairs of girls reading, I settled on this one from 1892. I think they may be sisters who also appear in some of his other works.
Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here are a few more without too much commentary.The above cute pose was painted by Leon-Jean Bazille Perrault (16 June 1832 – 1908) a French painter.Henri Lebasque (25 September 1865 – 7 August 1937) was a French post-impressionist painter.Laura Muntz Lyall (18 June 1860 – 9 December 1930) was a Canadian impressionist painter known for her portrayal of mothers and children.
This next picture of a young teen is from c. 1785, Lucknow, India. Although not certain, Portrait of a Bibi is thought to be painted by Johann Zoffany. You may say she’s holding a little mirror (or her smartphone?), but I’m thinking it’s a small book of cherished words.After much searching to find more diverse subjects for this post, I suddenly realized the following pictures did indeed have books in them, if only you look closely. Each of these three girls has at least one hand out of sight. I’ve decided they are holding their books below the artist’s vision (off-camera, if you will) while having their portraits painted.
Lilla Cabot Perry (13 January 1848 – 28 February 1933) was an American artist who worked in the American Impressionist style.Portrait of a Young Woman, above, is from the late 18th century. Beautifully painted by Jean Etienne Liotard (22 December 1702- 12 June 1789) a Swiss-French painter, art connoisseur and dealer.Wada Eisaku (1874 – 1959) was a yôga painter of the Meiji through Shôwa periods, and was director of what is known today as the Tokyo University of the Arts. So easy to picture the book this young beauty is holding in her right hand.
I’ve got to get another woman painter into this collection, so here is Louise Catherine Breslau (6 December 1856 – 12 May 1927). Born Maria Luise Katharina Breslau into a German Jewish family of Polish descent, she spent her childhood in Switzerland and as an adult made France her home (where she dropped “Maria”). Suffering from asthma all her life, Breslau turned to drawing as a child to help pass the time while confined to her bed. The above was created by Alfred von Schussler who must have painted it quite young as he only lived for 29 years, from 1820 to 1849. During that time he lived in Germany and Italy.
Are you familiar with The Fairy Tale? Walther Firle (22 August 1859 – 20 November 1929) was a 19th-century painter from Germany. I’ve had a print of this picture on my library wall for many years. Here’s another painting of the same scene from a different perspective. c. 1900And last, but not least, is a stunning painting (c. 1900) of a very clever girl. I believe she is hiding a small book behind her fan and taking peeks at it during her breaks. I hope you’ll zoom in on this one, the handling of the translucent fabric is amazing. Simon Maris (12 May 1873 – 22 January 1935) was a Dutch painter.
Of course I’ve still left out many beautiful options, as there is only so much room in a blog post. And that’s my answer to the following questions: Where are the boys? The grownups? And for that matter, why aren’t there more women painters? Yay, for the three L ladies: Laura, Lilla, and Louise for bringing their beautiful work into the world. And yeah, the men are pretty talented, too. Thanks for reading!
Call Me Amy chosen for 2014 Best Books of the Year!
Keeping the Blogisphere a Beautiful Place
Spirit Animal Blogging Award
Call Me Amy Book Trailer
Great Reviews for CALL ME AMY
“Well-drawn, sympathetic characters and the developing spark between Amy and Craig combine to create a pleasant, satisfying read.” –KIRKUS
“Strykowski lovingly captures seaside Maine and the travails of adolescence in her quiet, sweet-natured debut novel.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Strykowski ably depicts Amy’s insecurity and self-doubt, Craig’s bravura and pain, and Miss Cogshell’s wisdom with a deft, convincing touch. In essence, Amy comes of age as she fights to find her voice in the outside world and shed some of her debilitating insecurity. Readers will cheer her on, and her splendid team, too.” –BOOKLIST
"The protagonist grows throughout the story, from a shy loner to having two friends and speaking her mind in front of her adversaries at school as well as to the whole town. …Amy is a reliable narrator and easily relatable.” –SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
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“To do a good deed, we can find friendship in the most curious of locations. “Call Me Amy” is a novel from Marcia Strykowski following the struggles of Amy Henderson, who finds an injured seal and seeks to nurse it, with the help of a scorned aging woman and an unusual youth. Set in the early 70s and exploring the essence of loneliness, “Call Me Amy” is a powerful read that should prove so very hard to put down, highly recommended.”—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“This is a wonderful YA tale for the simple fact that it shows one and all that the power and courage to stand up and be heard in this life comes from within. And that no matter who you are, you have that toughness inside your soul. Craig has a lovely heart that hides behind that sarcasm he aims at the world, and he will remind every small town girl about that quiet boy she fell in love with long ago. ‘Old Coot’ brings the fun and humor along with her, and Pup is the sweetest creature in the world. Having all the ingredients of first love, faith, loss and strength makes ‘Amy’ unforgettable.” —FEATHERED QUILL
“For Amy, 1973 has been a lonely year, her only friend moved away and she feels awkward around her classmates. Until one day Amy discovers that Craig, another classmate, has rescued an injured seal pup. Amy agrees to help him and together they hide the pup at Miss Cogshell’s house, the odd old lady most kids call “Old Coot.” Amy learns that people aren’t always what they seem to be, and she forms a friendship with Craig and Miss Cogshell. A great story about friendship and doing what you think is right.” —KIDSBOOKSHELF
“For those ages 8 to 12, Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski will resonate with familiar themes of growing up. The year is 1973 and for Amy Henderson, it has been a lonely one with too many awkward moments to count. When she finds an injured seal pup, she rescues him to rehabilitate him. In the process she forms an unlikely alliance with Craig, a boy around her age, and an older woman in town. With their help she discovers that people aren’t always what they seem despite what others may think of them. This is a story filled with many elements that will appeal to younger readers and I highly recommend it.”—BOOKVIEWS.COM
"A wounded seal pup propels 13-year-old Amy Henderson into an unlikely alliance with an unusual older woman and a mysterious boy in a small Maine fishing village. Readers will cheer for Amy as she protects Pup, gains confidence, faces challenges, and comes up with an idea that could change not only the future of her village, but also, her own life. With a skillful hand, Strykowski introduces us to a small town with memorable characters and the girl who could bring them all together." ---Anne Broyles, award-winning author of PRISCILLA AND THE HOLLYHOCKS
"In a small town in Maine in the 1970's, Amy is standing on the brink of becoming a young adult. The events that will force her to discover who she is, what she is made of and how she wants others to perceive her are sweetly told through awkward teenage moments, the triumphs and sadnesses of that age and ultimately, Amy's discovery of her own beliefs, strength and courage." ---Kathleen Benner Duble, acclaimed author of THE SACRIFICE
“Call Me Amy is exactly the type of book I love. The characters are relatable and likeable; they are individuals that the reader enjoys getting to know while watching them change and develop. The setting of the small Maine coastal town is idyllic, and the reader is quickly and completely immersed in this community. Although the novel takes place in the 1970s, it feels timeless. Young readers will readily associate with Amy’s struggles and triumphs with her relationships with family and friends, and mature readers will be gently nudged back to this period in their life. These universal qualities make this novel a perfect choice for many types of readers. As a Youth Services Librarian, I would enthusiastically recommend Call Me Amy to our young patrons as well as to a more adult audience. Because it can be enjoyed on so many levels, this novel would be an ideal source of discussion for an adult/child book group.” ---Patty Falconer, Youth Services Librarian
"I just finished CALL ME AMY and I think it is wonderful with beautiful descriptions. I love the characters and their story. It is like having seen a good play or movie and later, while you are doing other things, it comes back to you and you think about the characters again." ---Peggy Arnold, retired teacher and avid reader.
For 13-year-old Amy Henderson, 1973 has been a lonely and uneventful year in her small Maine fishing village. With the help of a wounded seal pup, she gets to know Craig, who slinks around in an oversized army jacket. A new law against handling wild marine mammals brings suspense to the story. Where can they keep Pup until he heals? Their only hope is to trust Miss Cogshell, an elderly woman keeping to herself amidst jeers from the local kids, who catches them sneaking Pup into her woodshed in the middle of the night. Throughout the book, small challenges prepare Amy for her greatest one of all. A challenge that leads her to discover that everyone, herself included, has a voice worth hearing.