portrait of the artist's and her sister

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Deconstructed Nature Portraits, Vicki Rawlins

Chicago-based artist Vicki Rawlins constructs whimsical portraits of enigmatic, legendary women using flowers, greenery, sand and other organic objects. These unconventional works of art are captivating not only for their creativity but also for their ephemeral journey to creation and destruction. Rawlins has prints available of her works at http://sistergolden.com.

Instagram.com/wetheurban

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Queer Profile: Amrita Sher-Gil
Amrita was a popular Indian painter sometimes referred to as “India’s Frida Khalo.” Born in Budapest, Hungary on the 30th of January 1913, she was raised by her Punjabi Sikh father and Hungarian-Jewish mother. This parentage offered an identity struggle throughout the artist’s life. Caught between Western and Indian origins, Amrita donned her sari on some days; but on other occasions, she leaned more towards Western fashion. At the age of sixteen, Amrita moved to Paris to study at the École de Beaux-Arts. It was here that her father reported she had multiple affairs with both men and women. Her explanation was, “How can one feel the beauty of a form, the intensity or the subtlety of a color, the quality of a line, unless she is a sensualist of the eyes?” Once she and her family moved to India, her affairs with women grew to be well-known. Unfortunately, many of her intimate letters were burned by her usually liberal parents because of this. Her paintings, not unlike those of Khalo, challenged the views of the public on the sexuality and expectations of women. Her paintings of daily life in India are some of the most popular and realistic. Amrita Sher-Gil died at the age of 28 after hemorrhaging from an unsuccessful abortion, leaving her legacy behind in an abundance of paintings.

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Time to share with you one of my all-time favourite paintings! Now the 19th century was, in terms of artistic endever, a truly beautiful time. You cannot deny the artists of this period could certainly appeal to the viewers eyes. Of all the artworks of the 1800′s, I don’t think any really come close to this one. Vengence is Sworn’ (1851) by Italian artist Francesco Hayez (1791-1882), depicts a tragic tale.

The artwork was originally part of a series, it’s sister portraits named: ‘A Secret Accusation’, and A Rival’s Revenge (The Venetian Women).The former shown below.

And what, pray tell, is the story being told in Vengence is Sworn’? A devestated Venetian woman just told by her servant that her husband has been unfaithful. It shows a hurt woman. I love the poses here, the servant so close to whisper her the truth, written on that letter. The married woman pushing her away so you can almost feel her trying to reject the truth. When seeing their poses,  Wallace Stegner’s ‘Angle of Repose’ comes to mind:

“Touch. It is touch that is the deadliest enemy of chastity, loyalty, monogamy, gentility with its codes and conventions and restraints. By touch we are betrayed and betray others… an accidental brushing of shoulders or touching of hands… hands laid on shoulders in a gesture of comfort that lies like a thief, that takes, not gives, that wants, not offers, that awakes, not pacifies. When one flesh is waiting, there is electricity in the merest contact.

I feel it is same for the opposite, to deny that comfort. I feel that is what is shown here and certainly relevant to the time it represents.

The background is so simple, letting the attention to be drawn where it should be. It makes the characters that more dramatic. 

Another element I just love is the woman’s eyes. They way they are turned make it seems she has none at all. I believe they represent her blindness to how her husband has been loving another. They appear ghost-like, which I think reveals her own feelings also.

You can pick at this painting all you like, and no matter how much I’ll pretend to know about this painting, there is one reason above all others for me to love it. That is, it’s just simply a fucking beautiful work of art.

“ go ahead …
  Try to be a woman ,
  try to feel what it’s feels like …

  go ahead,
  try to understand,and  see through her
emotions,
  try to get closer to her world …

  Try to have her heart…feel strong ‘cause of
her devotion.. .
  isn’ t it amazing? Isn’t it powerful?

  Now, you know why,
  everytime you hurt her,
  one of her tears,
  It’s just enough, to be versed…”

 " into a woman soul"
Muse : @renaissancewomanoftheheart ( my sister )
Poem, and digital art  edit from @madonnacathy

PLEASE: in case of reblog, keep all the notes intact.
Thank you

Caterina 🌷

Do any of my followers know of an artist who can draw somewhat realistic portraits of cats? Preferably in traditional media but digital works too.

My sister just found out that her beloved cat, Wyatt, has cancer and probably won’t last more than a month. She’s absolutely devastated and I wanted to commission something to commemorate Wyatt for her.

Any help would be appreciated!

It's You (Soulmate AU Newt Scamander x Reader)

A/N: Based on a request for a soulmate Newt imagine. Hope you enjoy!

Most people remembered their past lives. This also meant remembering the soulmate they had for each life; the person you were destined to be with stayed the same during each life.

Newt Scamander remembered everything. From his past careers, his past homes, and most importantly, you. He remembered everything about you and desperately searched for you during each lifetime. He always found you, though, so there he was in New York City, the year of 1926, searching for you as he wrote his book.

It wasn’t until Newt was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art when he found you.

Queenie and Tina had taken him sight seeing the day before he had to leave, the museum being the last stop. He had been looking for you the whole day, becoming more and more distraught as the hours ticked on. He knew you were in New York, he could feel your soul pulling him to you.

Newt told the Goldstein sisters about his life many centuries ago when he was an artist. Some of his work had been brought to the museum, and the sisters wanted to see. He led them to where his paintings were, his mind filling with memories from when he painted them. You had been by his side, painting your own canvases even though you weren’t very good. He had fallen so deeply in love with you during that life, his paintings all reflecting the adoration he felt towards you.

One of his paintings was of you by the sea during a trip to France. Your hair had been flowing in the wind, your dress twirling around you as you spun in a circle and breathed in the fresh air. You had given him a smile full of love, and it had struck a cord in him. He began to paint that image, watching as you played in the sand while he worked in a field.

“Newton!” You called out excitedly as you picked up a shell and raced over to him. “Is this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?”

“You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” he declared with a smile as he wrapped his arms around your waist. He tugged you over so you stood between his legs that were dangling from his stool, his lips pressing a delicate kiss to the center of your back.

“Is this me?” You asked in awe as you admired his painting. The way he portrayed you in his work made your heart swell with love, and you promptly turned around to press a sweet kiss to his lips.

“It does not nearly capture your beauty the way it should be, for it was done so quickly that-”

You cut him off with another kiss before leaning back against him to look at the painting. “I love you, my silly artist.”

“Mon amour pour toi est éternal,” he whispered.

Newt stood in the doorway of the room that held his art, his heart fluttering from the memories. Queenie and Tina stood beside him, watching as he lost himself in his thoughts. Queenie watched the scenes play out in his head of his times with you when he painted, her eyes filling with tears as the pure love in his mind overwhelmed her.

“Shall we take a look?” Newt asked the sisters as he shook himself out of the memories. He wiped quickly underneath his eyes, stopping the tears that had begun to fall.

“Oh, Mr. Scamander,” Queenie gasped in awe as she looked around the room. Paintings upon paintings filled the walls, each of a pair of soulmates or of the girl she saw in his mind.

“They’re a bit outdated, but here they are,” he laughed sadly.

“They’re timeless,” a woman’s voice piped up from across the room. Besides Newt and the Goldstein sisters, there was only her.

“I’m glad someone thinks so,” Newt said as he walked towards the girl who was looking at a large portrait of Newt’s soulmate.

“I really love this one,” the girl said, pointing to the painting of his soulmate by the sea in France. “It feels like… it feels like I was there that day, watching this scene unfold. You’re the artist, am I correct?”

“I am the artist. It was a lovely day there in France, Y/N loved the sea and it was the perfect time to capture her excitement,” he recalled with a distant look in his eyes.

“It appears that all of us named Y/N love the sea,” she mused, turning to face Newt. “Do I look like her? It must be a Y/N thing, or maybe I’m just seeing something that isn’t there.”

“It’s you…” Newt choked out, the tears filling his eyes once again. His soulmate, his love, you! You were standing right in front of him! Why were you not in his arms? Why were you not pressing your lips against his in an attempt to help him keep his emotions at bay? You always did that when you met in a new lifetime.

“I’m flattered you see the resemblance, too,” you giggled, looking at the painting again.

“Y/N, love, please tell me you remember me?” Newt pleaded, a hand raising to rest on your shoulder and turn you to him. Your eyebrows furrowed as you looked at him, your teeth biting at your bottom lip in concentration. “Where’s your tattoo? Love, let me see the tattoo.”

“I’m sorry, but I wasn’t born with one,” you told him sadly.

“That’s not possible, I have yours right here!” He exclaimed, tugging the sleeve of his coat up to show you the name tattooed on his wrist.

“I don’t remember you, I’m so sorry,” you sniffled, your heart breaking at the soft sobs escaping the broken man in front of you. You desperately wished to remember him, but you understood that this happened to soulmates sometimes. It was just unfortunate that it was happening to you.

“I love you,” he cried, face red as the hot tears streamed down his face. He was a shattered reflection of himself, his once confident persona destroyed once you said you didn’t remember him.

“What can I do?” You frantically questioned, reaching foward to grab onto his shaking hands. You felt awful for him and knew that he wasn’t lying about your past with each other.

“I-I don’t know,” he whispered through his crying. Hurt was coursing through him like the blood in his veins. Confusion filled his mind as he attempted to figure out why you didn’t remember him.

“I read once that one man made his soulmate remember by kissing them,” you breathed out after a moment of thinking. “I don’t usually kiss someone I’ve only just met-” Newt let out a broken whimper. “-but I can make an exception for my soulmate.”

Before he could say anything, your lips were pressed against his. A gasp fell from his lips, but it was muffled by your mouth. Newt moved his hands so they were tangled in your hair, your own hands grabbing tightly onto his jacket. When you pulled away, Newt cradled your face in his hands, his forehead resting against yours as he searched your eyes for any kind of recognition as to who he was.

The two words that came out of your mouth sent him crashing to the ground, the pain becoming too much to bear.

“I’m sorry.”

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The artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was one of the best-known and most fashionable portraitists of 18th century France; her clients included the queen Marie Antoinette.

QUOTES “Painting and living have always been one and the same thing for me.”

Synopsis

French artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was born in Paris on April 16, 1755. She achieved early success as an artist; her ability to depict her subjects in a flattering, elegant style made her one of the most popular portraitists in France. Her clientele included aristocracy and royalty, including Marie Antoinette, whose portrait she painted 30 times. After the French Revolution, Vigée Le Brun worked abroad for 12 years. She returned to Paris for her later life and continued to enjoy a degree of fame and success that was very rare for a female artist. She died on March 30, 1842.

Early Life and Artistic Training

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was born in Paris on April 16, 1755, to Louis and Jeanne (née Maissin) Vigée. Her father was a successful artist who encouraged her interest in art. She took lessons from Gabriel Briard, and she received encouragement from well-known artists Joseph Vernet, Hubert Robert and Jean-Baptiste Greuze.

When she was still a teenager, Vigée Le Brun had already begun to attract wealthy clients who wanted to have their portraits painted, and in 1774 she was accepted into the painters’ guild of the Académie de Saint-Luc, which increased her professional exposure. In 1776 she married Jean-Baptiste Le Brun, an artist and art dealer, with whom she had one daughter, Jeanne-Julie-Louise.

Career and Success in Paris

Vigée Le Brun soon became a popular portraitist among the French aristocracy, who appreciated her artistic style. Using loose brushwork and fresh, bright colors, she always depicted her sitters in a flattering manner, posed gracefully and wearing their most stylish clothing.

In 1779, Vigée Le Brun went to the royal residence at Versailles to paint her first portrait of Marie Antoinette. She became the queen’s favorite portraitist and painted her a total of 30 times over the next decade; for one portrait, dated 1787, Marie Antoinette posed with her three children. The queen took an interest in Vigée Le Brun’s career and smoothed the way for her 1783 acceptance into the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, France’s most prestigious professional association for artists, which accepted very few female artists.

Throughout the 1780s Vigée Le Brun created portraits of members of the French royal court and aristocracy, including the Duchesse de Polignac and Madame du Barry. She also painted several informal and sensitive self-portraits, including one of herself with her daughter. Although she was best known for her work in portraiture, she also executed occasional mythological and allegorical scenes, such as “Peace Bringing Back Abundance” (1780) and “Bacchante” (1785).

Travels After the Revolution

In 1789, sensing the coming of the revolution that would overthrow the royal family and the aristocracy, Vigée Le Brun left France with her daughter. She traveled through first Italy, and then Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany, finding herself warmly received by the foreign nobilities, who knew her artistic and social reputation. She spent six years in Russia, where she met Empress Catherine II. She worked consistently throughout this time, producing portraits of royalty and aristocrats in her signature style.

Vigée Le Brun returned briefly to Paris in 1802. Finding France much changed since her departure, she chose to live and work in London from 1803–1805, and then she came home permanently in 1805.

Later Life

Vigée Le Brun’s French citizenship had been revoked when she left the country during the Revolution, and her husband was forced to divorce her on grounds of desertion. When she returned permanently to Paris, some of her fellow artists petitioned to have her citizenship renewed, and she reunited with her husband, without the official status of marriage. Her husband died in 1813, and her daughter died in 1819.

After her return to France, Vigée Le Brun spent much of her time at her country house in Louveciennes, near Paris. Her later work included some mythological scenes and many portraits of notable individuals, including the Prince of Wales (later George IV of England), Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat and woman of letters Germaine de Staël.

Vigée Le Brun published her memoirs, titled Souvenirs, in three volumes between 1835 and 1837. She died at her Paris residence on March 30, 1842.

Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked her world No. 1 in singles on seven occasions, from 2002 to 2017. She is the only tennis player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two of the four Majors seven times each (7 Wimbledon titles and 7 Australian Open titles). Williams is also the only tennis player to have won ten Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt. She also holds an all-time record for the most singles matches won at the Grand Slams (man or woman) with 316 matches (through the 2017 Australian Open). Serena has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles—an all-time record shared with her sister, Venus. She has won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award three times (2003, 2010, 2016), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. Williams’ accomplishments and success in professional tennis have led some commentators, players, and sports writers to regard her as the greatest female tennis player of all time.

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Pokemon trainer portrait commission for @goldenjellyfish who has only been a sweetheart to me. This is for their little sister, who got Pokemon Moon for her birthday yesterday, along with this portrait of her and her starter <3
Happy Birthday Jubi! 

Commissions / Instagram

The Bear Baron

“Brother dear, I have a question…” Cassandra made her way through the open door of his workshop without so much as a peep beforehand. Percival had been all too used to people stopping and knocking, just in case he had been working on something… even when the door was ajar like it had been.

“What is it, Cassandra?” He slid the magnifiers away from his glasses as he turned in his seat, taking in the amused smirk on his little sister’s face.

“Do you want to tell me why you’ve got the city’s artist painting Vex’ahlia’s bear?” She asked, eyebrow raised, but the teasing purse of her lips somehow stayed in place.

“Well, I couldn’t think of what to get her for Winter’s Crest, until I recalled how disappointed she was when we didn’t allow her to have her official portrait with Trinket by her…” He explained, waving the tool in his hand towards her idly.

“… So you’re giving her bear his own portrait?” He didn’t understand quite what the fuss was about.

“Well yes…” He blinked at his sister before tilting his head and trying to ponder what her thoughts were about, why she thought it was so… funny perhaps?

“You’re having the artist script on the frame’s plate that he is the ‘Trinket the Baron Bear of the Third House of Whitestone’.” She seemed to narrow her eyes at him as he shrugged his shoulders.

“That’s whom he is…” Percival once again blinked as his sister.

“… Why does he have your coat around his shoulders?” She pressed, lips pursing all over again.

“I thought he looked rather smashing in blue, plus it’s a… throwback to a thing I once did, using Trinket as a coatrack, I thought it would get her to laugh…” Cassandra’s hand made it to her face just in time for her to shake her head.

“Just marry her, brother, for the sake of us all, have some real children and dress them up instead of a bear.” And like that she was off and Percival was left alone once more, this time a bit dumbfounded.

“… What’s wrong with Trinket’s portrait?” He called after her, but gained no response.

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1001 Knights - The Reference post.  

So, when creating my piece for 1001 Knights I decided to do something more on the serious side (compared to my commercial work for animation).  Because the theme was “Knights” with a skew towards feminism, the first thing that came to my mind was the legacy of women in my own life.  I wanted to create a piece that honored the women I’m related to that made me who I am but also the overarching history of women in my life and my cultural heritage.

My mother is Armenian and my great grand parents came to the United States fleeing genocide in Armenia.  For me, I have learned everything about my Armenian identity from my mother and relatives on her side of the family.  My mother’s great grandfather was a muralist in Armenia and Turkey and I can trace my artistic abilities from him, to my grandmother and eventually my own mother who is also an artist. It’s something very special to me to know that the talents in my family have come down through my mother’s relatives in Armenia. Growing up, it was my mother who taught me how to be an artist and encouraged me to pursue my career in art.  I strongly identify my artistic abilities with my mother and my Armenian heritage so it seemed like the perfect place to start for my piece.

As far as where the strength and honor of a knight comes in, my mom was the strongest, and bravest person I knew growing up.  She raised me, my 3 brothers and sister together for as a single mom before remarrying and becoming a mother to twin girls at the age of 42.  Throughout the years she remained a source of strength for my family, unselfishly sacrificing her time for all of 7 of us plus my two step-brothers. These days she is still the matriarch of the family.  Her home is the center of holidays and important family events and all 6 of her grandkids admire and adore her.  She is also so experienced as a mother that the younger moms in my family go to her for advice in raising their own kids.

Now, I can see her legacy being passed on to her own daughters and daughters-in-law as they raise their daughters in the same loving and sacrificial way. Seeing this unfold over my lifetime has been a true blessing and has really impacted me.  And within the larger story of the other women in my family, it only seemed fitting that I honor these modern day women warriors with a piece of their own.

You will see that I was strongly influenced by some of my favorite artists including a direct quote of Gustav Klimt’s piece Palas Atenea.  I’ve also paid homage to Henri Matisse as well as beautiful Armenian rugs, folk art and traditional costume.  Yes, I threw it all in there. :D

Now you know a bit more about the many layered meaning of this very special piece for the 1001 Knights anthology.  You only have a few more days to contribute and get your copy before it’s gone, so hurry!

Love,

Claire 

A sublimated murder: A Visual Analysis of Frida with Globe (1938)

Frida Kahlo sits with her arm on the table holding the head, slightly lifting her jaw, looking at us with a hint of contempt and ineffable sadness, as if losing in thoughts. There is a wooden table on her left side with a globe carefully placed on a pedestal which at first reminds me of the magic power of her paintings—the madness and extreme emotion expressed in the vibrate colors, themes of pain and death. The globe here, together with Frida herself, more or less make me relate her to the figure with magical power, which also reminds me of one of her quotes, “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.”

The photo was taken in the photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s studio, which implies that the interior is more or less arranged on purpose by the photographer. He tactfully takes advantage of the globe—whether as a prop or a metonymy to reflect the whole interior of the room without which we could not see in this photo. Now through the curve surface of the glassy globe we can tell the void interior of the room—a small door, two windows, almost no furniture, empty ceiling, empty wall, empty space, as if totally exposed to the spectators. However, we could see, through the photographer’s lens, what Frida wears—the long cotton dress with rich layers and different patterns, the shawl, assorted necklaces made of wooden beams, earrings—are the exact opposite of the “exposed”, as if she wants to wrap herself up through layers of the thick material on her body to feel secured. The surface of the table is also covered with the soft striped tablecloth so that her arm would not touch the coldness of the wooden surface, making the possible expose to the outside world out of the question.

What I read through Manuel’s photo is that Frida tries to cover herself by separating from everything in the outside world, in the attempt of protecting herself from the unknown danger and pain. He rendered her as a figure who looks vulnerable and feminine through the comparison between emptiness and fullness, the physical implications—the flowery pattern dress, earrings and necklaces, and also the gesture, which, to some extent, totally challenges the figure what Frida see herself in the self-portrait she painted. In her most famous Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), she portraits herself almost looking more like a man, or to say, a king in his own kingdom through the thick coal-black eyebrows, the light moustache, the sharp eyes, and the majestic looks. By using the huge contrast between the “covered” and the “exposed”, the photographer successfully kills the figure that the artist see herself.

The photograph also reverses the spectators’ impression of the artist through most of her paintings, which always relates to madness, extreme passion, bold expressions and daring styles. Say, A Few Small Nips (1935), which was based on the most heart-broken event for Frida—her husband Diego’s affair with her young sister Christina.

In the painting, a naked woman lay on the bed, with blood and knife wounds all over her body, totally exposed to the out world. A man stands besides her, holding a knife in hand with a slightly evil smile. The blood on the scene even goes out of the painting—the shocking red deliberately being painted on the frame of the painting, which in some way suggests that the reality is equivalent to the picture, that she is a painful suffer in the real life like the woman being murdered. As she said, ”I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” The title of the painting A Few Small Nips originated from a news report about an unfaithful woman being murdered, and the murderer defended himself by saying “but it was just a few small nips.” The giant contrast between the subject depicted in the picture—the severed wounded woman and the ironic title A Few Small Nips intensifies her emotional wounds and pain, almost like a murder.

While in Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s Frida with Globe, Frida seems strangely calm and introverted out of the way, with a kind of detached look on her face, covered heavily with rich layers of clothes, with one hand on the knee and resting her chin on the other hand. A woman just likes a typical middle-class madame, mild and normal, who we would probably feel quite comfortable to sit with, without feeling any threat, roughness or aggressiveness, which is actually penetrated in her paintings. Again, the photographer challenges the figure of Frida in audiences’ minds by portraying her as a harmless, mild, and gentle woman.

These two gaps—one between the subject which the photographer captured and the figure Frida see herself, and the other between what photographer try to shoot the artist and what the third part—audiences see the artist—reminds me of the famous words in Susan Sontag’s On Photograph, “ To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as them never see themselves, by having knowledge of them they can never have…Just as the camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder.” (Sontag, P11-12)

Here, Manuel Alvarez Bravo successfully completes the duel “sublimated murder” by capturing the artist in his own words through constructing contrast between the “exposed” and the “covered” and other detailed implications, killing both the figure artist see herself and the image of the artist in our mind. He “intervenes” the picture rather than simply served as a recorder. (Sontag, P10)

And I, as a third-person narrative, also achieve this “sublimated murder” by deconstructing the photograph through my visual analysis, trying to interpret something may or may not intended in my own words.

Written by: Mo Zhang

Works Cited: Susan Sontag, One Photograph. London : Allen Lane, 1978. Print.

Whitley Schnee

I’ve been seeing a ton of analysis everywhere saying Whitley Schnee is a little shit, and I’m inclined to agree based on the small amount of screen-time he’s had so far… 

However, I think there’s as much subtext in the little pictures seen everywhere and what he says to Weiss to hold off on that reading of his character.  As much sorrow there is in not being a child a father loves as much as his son, there is also double that pressure in being the favorite and perfect child.  And I have no doubt that Jacques Schnee has forced Whitley to do things as he tries to force Weiss or Winter.  

Weiss comments that Whitley does not like Winter, after he remarks that she is strong like their oldest sister.  In his own way, he admits to not liking either of his sisters in that respect, but he also says he admires it.  It’s too early to completely read into his words all the way without more context on the family, but it does imply that he admires what Weiss did in going to Beacon.  The fact that he brings up Beacon as well and her being gone, marks that it was on his mind to an extend.  “I’ll have you know, I didn’t stop growing while you were away at Beacon,” are his last words to her in that scene, before he wishes her good luck with their father.  

There’s a sort of underlying resentment he has in her leaving the Schnee home to Beacon, but his words imply he also wants Weiss to be proud of him, in a way.  Maybe in his own smug way, but he does.  And you can’t deny that he did warn her about her father’s flaring temper before she goes to see him.  

Whitley is probably going to be a questionable character and brother in the future.  I have no doubt about that, but I also think the family portrait says more than just the fact that all the women in the Schnee family were/are unhappy with the way they live.  Though it’s just a slight thing–and it might just have been the way the artist designed it–I thought it was a curious thing that Whitley actually was situated closest to Weiss in the portrait.  Just by a small bit, their hands and knees are leaned closest together.    It suggests to me that Whitley might have looked up to Weiss and/or at least been closest to her when they were younger.  

He may be a little shit.  He probably is.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a complicated little shit who actually loves his sisters (or at least Weiss).  (And I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t like Winter because Weiss looked up to her).  I just don’t think he’s all that bad yet because he’s shown as a kind of support to Weiss in the Volume 4 opening along with Klein, the butler, who we all generally agree cares for Weiss very much.  

But at this point, this is just all guesswork.  I just want to reserve judgment on the kid until we see more of him.  

11th June (N.S., 29th May O.S.) marks the 119 birth anniversary of Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia, second child and daughter of the last Tsar

She´s a Grand Duchess from head to toe, so aristocratic and regal. Her face is pale matte, only the cheeks are slightly rosy, as if pink satin is trying to escape from just under her thin skin. Her profile is flawlessly beautiful, as if cut from marble by a great artist. The widely set eyes provide uniqueness and originality to her face. The nurse´s Red Cross kerchief is more flattering to her than to her sisters. She laughs more rarely than her sisters. Her face sometimes has a focused and stern expression. In her face are the traces of deep thoughts and sometimes even sadness. Without any words I feel that she is special, different from her sisters, despite their common traits of kindness and friendliness. I feel hers is a wholly secluded and unique world. If, as an artist I wanted to paint a portrait of a Sister of Mercy as she would ideally appear, all I would have to do is paint a portrait of the Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, I would not even have to paint it, but only to point to the photograph of her always hanging over my bed, and say, “That´s a nurse.”

Sofia Ofrosimova, Sister of Mercy

Doris Clare Zinkeisen (exh.1929). Doris Clare Zinkeisen (Scottish, 1898-1991). Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, London.

Painter and stage designer; with her sister Anna, Doris Zinkeisen was a familiar figure on the artistic scene from the 1920s. Best known for society portraits, horse paintings and murals of regency scenes, she was also an official war artist. The self-portrait was made while the artist was on a world tour, and was mostly painted in her hotel bedroom in Sydney.