Indolence in Art
& collect
Indolence is the avoidance of activity. "I like the word ´indolence´. It makes my laziness seem classy" said Bern Williams. Mahatma Gandhi instead thought that “Indolence is a delightful but distressing state - we must be doing something to be happy.” A curated gallery on how painters depicted humans in indolence, inactivity and ennui.
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James Whistler, Symphony in White No 3, 1866
Gaston de La Touche, Boredom, 1893
Félix Emile-Jean Vallotton (1865/1925), Laziness, 1896, Woodcut, 30.5 x 24 cm (sheet), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Perezosa [Idle Woman], Daniel Hernández Morillo, c. 1906, Oil on canvas Dimensions 70 cm × 105 cm (28 in × 41 in) Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
Jean-Léon Gérôme, Diogenes of Sinope, 1860. Walters Art Museum. The Greek philosopher Diogenes (404-323 BC) is seated in his abode, the earthenware tub, in the Metroon, Athens, lighting the lamp in daylight with which he was to search for an honest man. His companions were dogs that also served as emblems of his "Cynic" (Greek: "kynikos," dog-like) philosophy, which emphasized an austere existence.
Abraham Bloemart, Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, 1624
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, People lounging in the mythic land of plenty called Cockaigne.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Seven Deadly Sins - Desidia (laziness), 1558
Hippolyte Berteaux, Odalisque with a Lute, 1876, Galerie Nataf, Paris, France
John William Waterhouse, The Remorse of Nero After the Murder of His Mother, 1878
Sir William Quiller Orchardson, Dolce Far Niente , 1872 ["dolce far niente" is Italian for "pleasant idleness"]
Henri Matisse, The Moorish Screen, 1921, oil on canvas, 91 x 74 cm. Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia
Maurice Greiffenhagen, A Cipriote fisherman’s Wife, 1904
Maude Goodman, A Moment of Idleness, 1894
François Boucher, La Toilette, 1742. Boucher is no stranger to illustrating the foibles of pretty ladies. A toilette scene is a reflection of French society within the warmth of a lady’s aristocratic home. It was the time of Louis XV and Pompadour, Lyon silk and red heels, Voltaire and Versailles: a time of languid enlightenment and sleepy elegance.
Love in Idleness, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Laing Art Gallery, c.1891, Oil on canvas, 87 x 165.5 cm Collection: Laing Art Gallery
John Singer Sargent, Street in Venice, c. 1882. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. 45.1 cm × 53.9 cm
Frederick Arthur Bridgman, L'indolence, 1847
John Singer Sargent, In the Garden Corfu. Private Terra Museum of American Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, 1860-1861, Oil on canvas, 95.5 x 70.8 cm (37.6" x 27.87”), Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia
Group with Parasols, John Singer Sargent, c. 1905. Collection of Rita and Daniel Fraad. Oil on canvas. 55.2 x 70.8 cm (21 3/4 x 27 7/8 in.)
Ramon Casas i Carbó (1866–1932), Laziness, c. 1898-1900, oil on canvas,, 650 mm (25.59 in) x 540 mm (21.26 in), Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
John William Godward, Dolce far niente, 1904
Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Indolence (The Lazy Italian Girl), 1756–1757
John William Waterhouse, Consulting the Oracle, 1884, Oil paint on canvas, 1194 x 1981, Acquisition: Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894, Tate.
Ennui, Walter Richard Sickert, c. 1913, Tate
Idleness, Edward Bird (born 1772 - died 1819), ca. 1795-1819, Oil on oak panel. Given by Charles Robertson. Victoria and Albert Collection.
John Singer Sargent, Breakfast In The Loggia, 1910, Oil on canvas, 52.1 x 71.1 cm (20 1/2 x 28 in) Gift of Charles Lang Freer, Freer Gallery of Art Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Mars and Venus is a c. 1483 painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli. It shows the Roman gods Venus and Mars in an allegory of beauty and valor. The youthful and voluptuous couple recline in a forest setting, surrounded by playful satyrs. The painting is typically held as an ideal of sensuous love, pleasure and play.
Youth and Time, John William Godward, 1901, oil on canvas. Private Collection
"I like the word 'indolence'. It makes my laziness seem classy." - Bern Williams
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