Pleasant reading (child portrait) by George Bernard O’Neill

Pleasant reading (child portrait) by George Bernard ONeill

In front of you is a painting “Pleasant Reading”, written by Irish genre painter George Bernard O’Neill. The artist’s work has always been surrounded by the theme of childhood and all that is connected with the relationship of the child with the surrounding reality.

O’Neill’s paintings radiated naivety, kindness, and warmth. The latter quality was due not only to the benevolent themes of the works, but also to the palette, which became the hallmark of all of George’s works. The paints with which the author wrote were always in the warm range of the palette – these are ocher, warm brown, cadmium, yellow, bright and muffled red, red, etc. Like the picture presented, all O’Neill’s works were blacked out.

The narrative resembled a postcard, the reproductions of paintings of which were often used as greeting messages after a while. “Pleasant reading” – the product is touching in content and nothing more. The artist devoted his work to the simple topic of reading a book by a girl. There is no deep meaning in the plot, but its unobtrusiveness does not cause negative emotions. The usual perspective, the position of the girl’s body in the chair, a very simple interior and inattention to trifles do not cause awe when watching.

The work clearly shows the play of light and shadow. The only white spot is the apron of the young lady. It refreshes the muffled and monotonous coloring of the picture. O’Neal endowed the heroine with pretty features and laconic outfit. The interior of the room is visible in context – a piece of wall and window, a red carpet on the floor and a large old armchair, a red curtain. Furniture deserves attention. This is a massive chair-chair with tapestry upholstery. Upholstery ornament is very complex and is a complete plot. Interesting complex handles and armrests, back, ornate legs of mahogany. The chair deserves admiration for the skill of the 19th century carpenters.

In general, the work is presented too gloomy and causes the desire to turn on the light in the room. The author’s letter is too dry and somewhat wiped. In the painting technique of O’Neill, there is no lightness and freshness of the stroke, as if the master interrupted one color with another several times.

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