|Autumn at National Gallery|
Genre paintings are all about everyday life be it high class or the humdrum lower orders and I suppose they'd been something of a rarity in 'The West' when the Church dominated cultural life.
The Dutch artists of the 17th Century were undoubtedly the best at creating such works often small and subtle they were richly evocative and included the detail which helps portray the minutiae of the existence.
Of the paintings we visited my favourite has to be The Poulterers Shop by Gerrit Dou.
Other Dutch paintings also had much to recommend them both in their style and in what can be gleaned of the times and dynamics shown within by inspection - see below left.
|A subtext as well as a specific in Dou's work|
The Woman playing the Lute to Two Men may well be a courtesan and the significance of the men's apparel leads us into this interpretation - The artist was Gerard ter Borch who is said to be an influence on Gerrit Dou
|A woman playing a Lute to Two Men by ter Borch|
We also looked at Hogarth's Marriage a la Mode series 1-6 (1743) - which was (perhaps) more in the Narrative style.
We can though by inspecting the series of Hogarth's moralistic work learn much of the life of the higher orders and the downfall which some suffered (particularly the illness of Syphilis which was rampant at the time) .
|Part of the series of Marriage A-la-Mode (Hogarth) - The Inspection|