The Irritating Gentleman - Berthold Woltze
I know that feel, Painting Lady.
My bus ride to and from work every day.
They never published the second picture, which was the one where she backhanded him in the fucking face for getting all up in her shit.
Oh great, good to know this has been a problem for HUNDREDS OF YEARS CAN WE PLEASE STOP DOING THIS ALREADY JUST FUCK OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE
Everyone is overlooking something very significant in this picture, that I saw in two seconds, that adds a layer of super slime to his whole awful attitude. “The Irritating Gentleman” is a politeness.
She’s wearing all black in 1874. Black gloves, hat, cloak, and dress. In public. The whole nine yards. That’s not a fashion choice or a gothic thing. Back then when people wore all black like that, they were in mourning for someone who died. No one did mourning like the Victorians, that shit was an art form to them.
Someone in her family has died—she could even be a young widow. No one’s accompanying her either. With the carpet bag? She’s traveling alone while still in deep mourning. Look at the closeup. She’s got tears in her eyes. She is upset, devastated in a way that one is only when someone has died. And the guy’s still bothering her, like her problems are flippant bullshit and she needs to just smile or pay attention to him because ladies are supposed to be pleasing for men no matter what shit they’re going through. That’s not a look of “what an ass.” That’s a look of devastation that even in her pain, she’s expected to give people like him focus. She’s not mad. She’s hurt. And to add insult to injury? Everyone would be able to tell. It was a clear sign and still is in ways that someone is mourning, to dress in black crepe like that. He would know why she’s wearing all black, and he’s still demanding her attention.
What an insufferable dick.
I’m reblogging myself to add some comments from my mom. She’s a docent at the Portland Art Museum, and I wanted to see her take on this painting, given her art/art history knowledge. She said:
“Just looking at it I’d say she’s recently lost her parent(s). She’s traveling alone and is waiting in a station that would be considered too “rough” for a lady in high standing. The crates around her, even the behavior of the man would indicate she’s in a rough part of town. Also, there’s a tear on her face, so not only is she grieving a loss, she’s grieving a loss of position and safety in the world.”
Reblogging for that comment right there.
Art history! It’s cool!