Visiting the illustrator’s society was a very interesting event for me. When I was going there, most of all I was interested in the question of how with the help of ink and a pen it is possible to create such voluminous and informative pictures. And I found out that as well as in the work with oil paints, the distance from which we look at the illustration has great importance. The further the viewer is the more real the picture. Near it, we can see how scattered the strokes of the pen are. Also, it was interesting to know how the illustrators made corrections in those days when there were no computers and printers yet. I noticed a few pictures which have been cut out and then glued areas with corrections.
In addition, in the process of studying the exhibition, I suddenly found that many of the depicted women, despite a fairly wealthy life, have some inexpressible pain in their eyes.
I wondered why and that’s what I found out; before the First World War, many women wore corsets that tightened the body so that it was difficult to breathe. So the life of female aristocrats was hard too. However, here we can see some illustrations after the war, already without corsets, completely different faces.
Most of all I liked the portrait of Gibson’s girl. The work is done very cleanly, accurately reconciled direction lines and composition. The image is somewhat reminiscent of the cameo of the ancient work.
Gibson Girl Beatrice Cenci
Charles Dana Gibson 1902 Cameo is Italian circa 1860/1870
This illustration is not only masterfully executed portrait is an iconic work which simultaneously reflects the historical moment and it is also an enduring artistic value for all times. The prototype of the portrait was the well-known model of the time Florence Evelyn Nesbit, but the sadness in her eyes, not about the corset, she really had a hard life. And it is paradoxical that she served as a model for imitation of a whole generation of women in that times.