Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay, Detail. by Thomas Hudson (1701–1779)
The last installment of our “The Author is Sickly” series, this is one of two paintings by Gustave Léonard de Jonghe entitled The Convalescent.
The subject has a rather lovely room to convalesce in, full of the trappings of middle-class 19th-century life.
The objects suggest both a desire for worldliness—which the tiger-skin rug, the laquerware fireplace screen with a red-crowned crane, and the Japanese paper fan on the mantle all emphasize—and for familiar comfort (the large silkwork screen in the background, judging by the imperfectly executed and simple pattern, is probably the product of some industrious female member of the family).
The chair, meanwhile, exists in a kind of middle space between the two: known as a “Turkish” chair, its overstuffed cushions and rounded, slightly reclining shape reflect a late 19th-century trend towards comfort in furniture.
Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818
Woman Before The Rising Sun, 1818-20