By: Hendrik Jacobus Scholten (1824-1907)
Created: End of the 19th century, Collection: Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands Rights: Public Domain
This image is fairly easy to recreate. You just need a chair and table. Pay attention to your pose, though, and to the light. If you like, you can play with the attributes: instead of the book, use a mobile phone. Instead of the tea, maybe a glass of Bordeaux. Try to express yourself through these attributes.
This painting portraits a young woman. She is lavishly dressed in a comfortable light dress (silk?) and sits on a comfortable looking chair. With one hand, she is holding a book, with the other hand she is turning a spoon in cup of tea or maybe hot chocolate. She is reading.
Behind her, a heavy silk curtain emerges from the dark back ground and frames her on the right. A little mirror or gold framed round painting in the top left corner defines the room as an intimate and private room, probably some kind of drawing room or “boudoir”.
In short: the painting is the subtle ideal portrait of the young and educated woman of her time. We have chosen this painting for VanGoYourself because we think that the activity of reading and having a cup of tea in the evening is so timeless, that even today you can easily connect with that unknown woman from the past.
But we have also chosen this image, because we think that it offers great potential for the reinterpretation of the role of the modern woman. It is not only the reading devices that have changed since then.