Two Young Readers
from the Belvedere Museum ~ Vienna
Left: Lesender Knabe ~ Reading Boy, 1860
johann Baptist Reiter, 1813 - 1890 (to see more)
Right: Lesendes Madchen ~ Reading Girl, 1850
Franz Eybl, 1806 - 1880 (to see more)
I love the innocence and earnestness conveyed in these two portraits. In their seriousness of purpose, the youthful readers look amply prepared to take on the Great Books of World Literature, every bit as much as the more tender fiction reserved for teen and pre - teen readers. If only we could see the titles of those books in their hands!
Likewise the face of the thoughtful letter reader / writer below. The title says "Writer," but in fact this girl is reading -- perhaps a letter she has just received. Good news or bad? Maybe she is scanning her own response, just now composed in reply to the open pages on the table. Her companion, who is not so much reading over her shoulder as gazing out in consternation, appears filled with worry, if not worse, while she remains calm and self - composed. The contrast of their expressions, illuminated by candlelight, is puzzling. What could be the situation that causes him so much more anxiety than it does her?
Joseph Wright of Derby, 1734 - 1797
For more paired paintings
check out the recent post on my Fortnightly Blog:
Perfect Twins: Going Out, Coming In
For a number of current YA titles,
check out the latest post on my book blog: