December 30, 2008

The Dancing Couple.

When I was visiting my parents in Prague about a year ago, I stumbled upon a little shop selling small aquarelle paintings. Or rather, reproductions. There are countless such stores all around the old town, most are designated for tourists. Tourists’ traps, if one can say so.
And I am no fool; I am fully aware of this and therefore very rarely buy anything there. However, I have made two exceptions, and this is one of them.
I have no idea who painted this, but I call it “The Dancing Couple”. The painting is small, and it immediately caught my eye and I just had to have it. I guess my affection for it was very obvious and my mother decided to buy it for me as a gift.

The picture is filled with atmosphere and loaded with emotions, additionally the color composition is unique. The grey and okra, and the black and brown. And then suddenly the red. The symbolic red dress. The setting amidst pouring rain on a foggy and wet Charles Bridge with a picturesque backdrop, makes it romantic and evocative. What I love about it most of all is the sensation of the couple, completely unaware of their surroundings, only existing for each other in one single moment in time. Or if one will, in a single dance in time.
And then there is the “Butler”, as I like to call him. Present as the only witness and as the guardian of the dancers, shielding them from rain. A silent chaperone, a sentinel of a candid passion, which is immortalized by a perceptive artist.

I have placed the painting in my hallway, just next to the stairs. At certain times of the day, the sunlight illuminates it and completes the romantic illusion. Or reality.


Diane said...

How weird... this is SO much like one of my favorite paintings by Jack Vettriano, a Scottish painter whose work has been turned into posters (which are for sale EVERYWHERE). The couple and the butler are nearly the same but the background is different, as they're on a beach. I'll find a picture of it and send it to your email address.

Pearl said...

I know exactly what Diane (above) is talking about, and yes it is almost exactly alike...

Re: my heritage, Protege, almost all Americans who have been here a generation or two (I am second generation on one side and third on the other) are quite mixed.
:-) Czech, Danish, Irish (not to mention Norwegian, Swiss, and Scot!).


Zuzana said...

Diane, you are so right on!! I just did a search and it is an identical painting, except for the background.;)) It is called "The Singing Butler". So I was not far off with my naming.;))
Most likely a Czech artist did an excellent Vettriano ripoff.;))
Nevertheless, both paintings are stunning and now finally the correct source has been elucidated; thank you Diane.;)) Unbelievable how much I learn every day through blogging.;)

Zuzana said...

Pearl, that is amazing; you are definitely a product of an excellent mix. Even Swiss? My sister is married to a Swiss man and lives in the French part.;)
Hmm, it seems I am the only one unaware off Vettriano's singing Butler.;) My goodness.;)

Keera Ann Fox said...

What a charming painting!

Protege, a typical American is a mutt. ;-) I'm a mix of English, Irish, Scottish, German, French and Austrian. Norwegian only by osmosis. My Norwegian grandpa was my mother's step-father.

Michelle H. said...

The colors in the painting pop out at the eye. It is beautiful.

Regarding everyone's comments above, they are right. Typical American is a mutt. I'm a mix African American and Native American (Cherokee), plus probably a few others I am not even aware of. ;)

Diane said...

OK, so I have to add my heritage to the mix... as you know, I'm 100% Scottish, born there of Scottish parents, but as you also know, my last name means 'half Dane', so on my dad's side, somewhere down the road, I expect someone came across the North Sea from Denmark! Now, Ryan, on the other hand, is first generation American. She's obviously half Scottish and on her dad's side she's mostly Mexican with a bit of Native American (Apache) thrown in. So she's a mutt, but, like Sundance, an identifiable mutt :)

Betsy Brock said...

It's very charming...and I like the butler holding the umbrella over them...the perfect touch to the whole scene!

Holly said...

What a fun post and fun comments as well. You and I have very similar taste in art. (Shocker there, right? :)) I also know of the art that Diane is talking about, and I love all of these pieces. Certain art just speeks to my soul, and this peice that you have posted has that sort of effect on me.

I am mostly Scottish and Irish, but I do have a small dash of Indian, funny huh?!

As for my email, it turns out that it has been flat out not working for over a week now which explains A LOT of frustrations that I was having. I called my network today and the hubby is is trying to get it up and running again. I probably would have recieved your origional mail had mine not been on the fritz. Oh the irony. ;)

Zuzana said...

Keera, you started a chain reaction, judging from the comments above.;)) So Americans are mutts!?;)) I like that, now I understand why I liked to lived there; with my mixed heritage I fit in there perfectly. It is interesting that you ended up in Norway even though you have no genetic roots there. However, I am glad you did. Have a Happy New 2009!;))

Michelle, Cherokee, I like that! As a young girl I used to fantasize about the Native Americans after reading a book written by a German author, Karl May. It was a very romantic depiction of the Wild West.
I am happy you like the painting; Happy New Year!

Diane, I like that you are actually 100% Scottish.;) And I think I can see that that you have Danish ancestors from your blond looks.;) You know that I envy Ryan her Native American heritage; I think I am very intrigued by their culture.
Happy New Year Diane, to both you and Ryan.;))

Betsy, I agree I think the butler makes the picture very evocative and intriguing. I hope you your family have a Happy New Year.:)

Holly, I know that we share similar taste in art and life.;) I feel a bit ignorant that I did not realize that this painting was a kind of forgery. But live and learn, right?
Most possibly my mail is waiting for you in your account then, I hope the problems will get fixed. ;)) Look forward to hear back from you.
A very Happy New Year to you and yours Holly!;))

ASAM said...

Very nice, warm, magazine looking blog. I can't believe you don't live in N. America...cos your writing is very proficient in English. If i only lived in N. America 10 years....i don't think i would write this well. Anyway Happy New Year 2009.

Zuzana said...

AP, thank you for stopping by and for that genuinely kind compliment.;)
Likewise I wish a wonderful and a very Happy 2009.

Melanie Gillispie said...

I was thinking when I was reading your post and looking at the picture that it reminded me of one of Diane's pictures, and then I read her comment and she was thinking the same thing! I would say great minds think alike, but I'm not sure about that. Well, at least in Diane's case! ;)

G said...

I saw the Vettriano similarity too. It also brought to mind the movie "Only You", with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr., a romance set in Italy. There's a bridge, and a red dress, a wonderful red dress, designed by Milena Canonero. If you don't know this film, I bet you'd enjoy it. :)

Zuzana said...

Mel, yes, I guess there has been some copying going on, nevertheless, the painting is wonderful.;)
And you and Diane are great minds.;)

BPG, yes indeed, I know he movie very well and it is one of my absolutely favorite romantic comedies!;))