Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Art History

While my degree is in English, I have a passion for art history. I bring artwork into my courses whenever I can, but one of my dream classes to teach would be an interdisciplinary course combining the two for the whole semester.

The Pre-Raphaelites are among my favorites, for so much of their subject matter is literary. They painted from Shakespeare, Keats, Tennyson, Malory, and more. The Lady of Shallot was one of their favorites, and while she was a weaver not a knitter, she's one of my favorites too.

There are dozens and dozens of paintings and engravings of the Lady of Shallot, but not nearly so many of knitters. Nineteenth-century English and French genre painters included knitters as a way of showing local color. A knitting woman allowed the painter to paint a domestic interior and to praise feminine industry.

Even earlier, we can find a number of medieval knitting madonnas as well. They're sort of odd, but if Jesus can have blond hair and blue eyes, I guess the Virgin Mary can pick up the knitting needles and cast on. Maybe it gave her a degree of serenity in her crazy world.

Which brings me to this book. I want it. It's definitely going on my wish list.


In other news, I finished the other sock. With the semester over and without a computer at home, I may be posting less frequently, but I'm aiming to do my best over the summer.

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