Ellen Day Hale
Post #820 • June 28, 2006, 12:28 PM • 33 Comments
From Americans in Paris: Ellen Day Hale, Self Portrait.
The label reads:
The flâneur - a detached pedestrian or "gentleman stroller of city streets" - was a popular Parisian type first identified by poet Charles Baudelaire. Interestingly, Ellen Day Hale, in her Self Portrait[,] depicts herself in this manner - a confident and forthright pose rarely used for women.
First, hotness. Second, while poking around for biographical information on Hale, which is scant, an 1889 remark from an art critic turned up: "There is nothing that men do that is not done by women now in Boston." With self-assured characters like this one, it's not hard to see why. In addition to the realness of execution, this work has a realness of presence that dominates the wall. The attitude is part of it, reinforced by the off-center composition and brooding coloration. I think in Hale we have the Joan Jett of the Francophile Victorian expat milieu.
Next: Cassatt, Cecilia Beaux, Elizabeth Nourse.