Friday, April 16, 2010

Homes as Art



Quiet Corner, a Cottage Near Dieppe

These paintings of homes, by Louis Aston Knight, (1873-1948) son of Daniel Ridgeway Knight, are amazing. Click on each picture for a larger view.


Flowers in Bloom




If you are homeschooling your children, this artist, and his father, would make good study material. Just look at the colour and the movement of the water. How did he do that? Some of the 19th century artists could make you smell the scent of spring or feel the temperature, by their careful brush strokes and placement of plants and streams.

 Apple Blossoms

These little scenes captured by the artist are just as precious to families today. They are symbols of what the word home really means: life and peace, happiness, loyalty, strong values taught by fathers and mothers. 

 Summer Garden, Normandy

The sentimental love and respect for the home, house and family is evident in so many paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 Summer, Beaumont-le-Roger


It is possible that women do not understand contentment because they have never experienced real home living, as it once was.  These paintings bring back some of the memory of those days when women  were home.

 A Bend in the River

It is interesting to look at the houses and imagine what life was like when being the lady of the house was an honour and a high calling.
The Blue Cottage



24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Absolutely Gorgeous!! Your descriptions are delightful!! Oh, for the day when this upside down world in which we live will be righted; Oh for the day when once again artists will be inspired to commit to canvas the likes of these again!! Andthose who create the sanctuary of home within such wonderful dwellings. This man lived through two world wars and a global depression; I would be curious as to the timeframe in which he painted the majority of his creations. his very being must have cried out in pain after witnessing the destruction of the world he so faithfully and lovingly documented thus; to see the beauty of this eternal world replaced by the coarseness and harshness of the age in which we are now imprisoned must have crushed his very spirits.

My soul aches for once more, the majority to be content with the old paths, wherein we find rest for our souls.

Exquisite!!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

To the first Anonymous of the day here: whoever you are I thank you for these words.

You are right: in the midst of turmoil, his soul brought forth the action to paint these things. Almost all the painters featured here lived in terrible times, yet recorded a beauty for us to see later. Interesting, is it not, that the very thing the enemies of the home want to destroy, are the things that these artists painted: beauty, men providing for women, women keeping house and making it beautiful. It is preserved for all time. There is no denying it.

I have read articles where people of this day write that England never really was like this, and that it was all a fantasy; a figment of the imagination of the poets and artists. But, these canvases tell the truth, as do many others who did not even know each other.

These paintings show abundant life.

"The thief cometh to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."

Our Lord is the author of abundant living. In spite of the ugliness that the enemy wreaks around us, that is what we must do: live abundantly, above it all.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love these!

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

To those naysayers that believe the world depicted in such paintings is mere fantasy or contrivance, they ought to travel around their own country, be it England or France, for instance, and see the villages, the homes, the churches, the gardens that still exist! Ludlow, Tewksburry, Oxfordshire in the UK, for instance, and unnumbered villages and towns throughout France and Europe ! These individuals who claim the work of such artists is fantasy and folly have difficulty coping with reality when reality clashes wit their ideology. Then there is the magnificent British garden of Berkenhead.

As for cottages, my now late grandparrents were English, and at one point, lived in a cottage built in either the 1600's or 1700's (canot remember the date off the top of my head at a pinch)...

Similarly, there are homes like this all throughout Australia that date from the mid late 1800's onwards; from the huddles of little workers' homes built in the 19th centurythrough to old hotels and homes throughout Tasmania especially, they exist!

All they have to do is visit ross or Penguin! Ah, but that would disprove their assertions that such works were the mere fantasies of artists , and we must preserve arrogance and huberous at all costs, 'don't ya know'??
For heavens' sake, I've stayed in places like this, ranging in building date from around 1830 right through to Federation, and jolly lovely they were too!

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
I always love the pictures you post, and the strong evidence they give of home as a *lovely* place. There is a reason for such sayings as "Home is where the heart is." and "There's no place like home." There is a reason everyone longs for the innocence of childhood and cherishes the memories (if they are fortunate enough to have them) of the comforts and security of home. Those who do not have those experiences are often touched deeply when they are in someone else's home that truly makes them "feel at home" and gives them a taste of what they have been looking for all their lives.

We are trying to build those kinds of memories for our children, and despite not always living in a house that is beautiful in and of itself, we always look back and agree that every house we have lived in has "felt like home" and been a warm and secure place to come to.

We do homeschool, and last fall while visiting a historical town, we wandered up into an artist's studio, and she spent more than an hour letting our son paint something, and talking to us about art and color. She encouraged us to "paint our world" and said that the mark of a true artist was to preserve a record of the world he sees around him. She said paintings become so much more precious and valuable when what the artist captured is no longer there--that the world changes, and we need to capture moments in time. Your post shows lovely evidence that the artists of that time captured the world they saw around them, and what was beautiful in it.

Thank you for sharing.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I have more beautiful paintings to show here and hope to post them soon. If we have these painting around us, we cannot help but want to admire the things they represent: home, house, family, Biblical values, the old paths, where the good walk is.

Anonymous said...

It is true that many people have not really experienced a true home. We can influence the world for Christ by building strong, happy, Christian homes filled with simple beauty and we can invite lonely people in to experience at least an evening in a home.

deep within each of us is a longing for a home; a heavenly home where we will feast at a beautiful banquet table with our bridegroom!

Anonymous said...

These paintings, and your words, have been and encouragement to me this morning. Thank you.
Rosemary

Anonymous said...

True there is lots of ugliness in the world and it can be very hard to endure it, but God has allowed his word to encourage us.

These lovely paintings remind me of the scripture Phil.4:8 where we are told to think on whatever is true, noble, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Thank you Lydia for sharing and posting. I have been blessed today.

And thank you Anonymous 6:32AM for your lovely words also.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
Thank you, today and in many posts, for moments of peace and inspiration. Your blog reminds me to keep faith and family at the forefront, no matter what tomorrow may bring! These lovely paintings remind me to keep my own home as my art!
Thanks,
LL

Anonymous said...

I cannot say more than what others have written here...except to nod in agreement with them all. The paintings tug at my heart.
L.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Thanks to all you ladies who prayed regarding home educating freedom in the UK. The proposed law was not passed; the Prime Minister called an election and so there was no time for further business. For now, our freedom to home educate has been preserved.

Pray that the election produces a result that favours home educators.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Thanks to all you ladies who prayed regarding home educating freedom in the UK. The proposed law was not passed; the Prime Minister called an election and so there was no time for further business. For now, our freedom to home educate has been preserved.

Pray that the election produces a result that favours home educators.

Emmarinda said...

I think the biggest joke is that while the world prates on about how nobody lives like this anymore, or ever did, we just keep on living our "stay-at-home" lives, doing and enjoying all the activities that our "mythical" fore-mothers did. Ha, ha! We might not have a thatched roof, or a home in the country, but we can strive to maintain a cheery atmosphere and rich home life no matter what. And we all know it just takes a little thought, time and very little, if any money to make our homes beautiful. If you notice the homes in the paintings, they no doubt belonged to the most humble of people and were probably very simple and definitely not luxurious. Yet they minister to our spirits when we look at them. And when (and I am exhorting myself here) we keep an attitude of prayer, thankfulness, and contentment, we make our own homes minister to others. My thoughts for today - thanks Lydia, again for such wonderful posts!

Emmarinda said...

I think the biggest joke is that while the world prates on about how nobody lives like this anymore, or ever did, we just keep on living our "stay-at-home" lives, doing and enjoying all the activities that our "mythical" fore-mothers did. Ha, ha! We might not have a thatched roof, or a home in the country, but we can strive to maintain a cheery atmosphere and rich home life no matter what. And we all know it just takes a little thought, time and very little, if any money to make our homes beautiful. If you notice the homes in the paintings, they no doubt belonged to the most humble of people and were probably very simple and definitely not luxurious. Yet they minister to our spirits when we look at them. And when (and I am exhorting myself here) we keep an attitude of prayer, thankfulness, and contentment, we make our own homes minister to others. My thoughts for today - thanks Lydia, again for such wonderful posts!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Germany growing up, and there wasn't a home, anywhere that we went sightseeing, that didn't have big window boxes full of geraniums. I remember them being everywhere.

It was common to see women wearing the traditional "dirndl" dress. This was the early 80's.

I have a backyard that is so bleak and depressing. This is the first year we have been able to begin the process of planting hedges. They are not grown yet, only planted, and small, but what a difference they have made already, like night and day.

They say that in a yard without clear boundaries, like a fence or hedge, the children and people always stay up around the house. As soon as a boundary goes up, the people go out to it's very borders, and feel at ease to enjoy every square inch of it. You will see this type of hedging all over England.

Even a small yard, becomes a small "room" when enclosed by tall hedges and vines. The effect is very soothing, and invites people outdoors.

Now the first thing I want to do every morning is go outside and enjoy my backyard. One improvement only adds to another, as everyone sees the difference that even a little bit of labor can make.

Emmarinda said...

As Anonymous 11:39 says, landscaping in the yard does make all the difference. There is a narrow ditch that runs along the back of our property, right behind our stockade fence. On the other side are other homes, rather close, due to the fact that our yards are kind of shallow. It took us awhile, but we eventually planted four black Japanese pines on the inside of the fence (got them quite small for less than $20 each). About five years later, we filled in between with fast growing Leland Cypress trees, both on the inside and outside of the fence. None of this was professionally done and took awhile to grow, but it was kind of planned by my looking at things around town, and asking questions about what grows fast and well here. And I also got some help from a gracious lady. Nature, in her irrepressible way, "planted" a wild Juniper tree, a wild dark cherry tree, several other offerings, and some honeysuckle to come up and spill over the inside of our fence. Now we have this glorious boundary filling itself in nicely, and it is so true that it makes all the difference in how we feel about being out there. I got the idea from reading about hedgerows in England. They even have organizations to promote and preserve their hedgerows over there as they are of historic, and aesthetic value, as well as being a haven for local wildlife and a protection from erosion of the land. They help to keep nature in balance, and that is something I wanted to promote on my suburban homestead. This also ties in with what I have read on your blog before about establishing boundaries, both physical, psychological, and spiritual around one's home. Whether your home starts at your apartment door or at the curb in front of your house, it is good to make it "other than" the world around it.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Emmarinda, I would be very interested in learning about the hedgerows in England. In the book, "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell, hedgerows are an important part of Margaret's journey back to her childhood home.

Anonymous said...

In new Zealand, the hedge rows are incredible!! Especially on the south Island!! they are mighty stands of trees, all trimmed and clipped to perfection (they've designed a special agricultural machine to do this(gives perfect results). In Australia. In our home, my husband loves the way our melalucha (paper bark tree) and marayia have interlaced at canapy level, forming a huge wild arch over the driveway. We've star jasmine along the back fence plus camelia also; it is a 'shoebox', but it is ours.

Anonymous said...

I have a laurel hedge but do not know how to multiply it and create more hedge around the place. I would like to create a walking garden with more landscape interest, on a flat land. I think hedges and bushes would be the answer but I would like to do it without spending money.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in England, and there are still a lot of places that look like this!

Emmarinda said...

Well, I stumbled across the information on hedgerows because I was interested in having my garden be natural, with the proper balance of bugs, worms, predators, etc. The ones in Europe are centuries old, I imagine, and go along with old method of farming, which was of course organic and worked with, rather than against, nature. The thing about a hedgerow is that it is a strip of absolutely wild land that separates fields or areas of cultivated land. They are important because they are a haven for small game, birds and the like, which feed on bugs and vermin, thus keeping them in check in your field or garden. I think they are also beneficial in holding down topsoil and lessening land erosion. Now, people all around me go in for a lot of chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides), and I also wanted to minimize that. I want my yard to be hospitable to fragile life forms like butterflies and little frogs and toads. I also wanted some privacy, and as your other commenter said, to feel as if we have an outdoor room. So since we own down to the middle of this small ditch running between my back fence and the back fences of folks on another street, I decided to make the most of that area and plant some fast growing evergreens both in front and behind my fence, and also to let nature take its course by filling in with what "she" desired, and so now I have a natural boundary which supports birds, possums and other wildlife. I have a dog and two cats that roam the back yard, with the cats climbing up over when they please, so I have never had a rodent problem, but routinely see butterflies, lady bugs, praying mantis, toads and even frogs in my yard. My husband made a fountain back there and it is a really lovely, and healthy place to be. Let me finish by repeating that we did these things over the past few years, looking for sales on plants, buying trees and bushes small and cheap, and just keep costs very low. But you do have to have stability of life - staying put and working with what you have.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I heard several women comment about making what you can see out your windows beautiful. That is so true. What you see outside the kitchen and other windows does make your home more peaceful and beautiful. Think of the view when planning plantings or aranging the patio or porch furnishings etc. I do not use pale pastel colors inside my home but love them on the porch and those colors in the gardens seen from the porch. Makes for a sweet change. I make inexpensive pillows for the chairs etc using materials found used etc. A can of spray paint can transform an old metal table etc...

Alexandra said...

I really like the apple blossoms! Ours are blooming here and it reminds me of home.

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