Carl Heinrich Bloch, “In a Roman Osteria” (1866)

23 Sep

Carl Heinrich Bloch, In a Roman Osteria (1866)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-90) was a Danish oil painter heavily influenced by Rembrandt.  He’s perhaps most famous for his religious paintings — many of which have become popular in the Church of Latter Day Saints — but his depictions of everyday Roman life are fascinating.  I just love this one.  The subjects are caught in the moment of being interrupted mid-conversation.  The two women gaze at the viewer with a mixture of annoyance and flirtatiousness while the young man stares with unconcealed anger.  Even the cat looks annoyed!

The detail in this work is amazing.  If you look closely you will see insects buzzing at the mouth of the decanter at right.  There is just so much human emotion contained in this painting — you could study it for hours.

4 Responses to “Carl Heinrich Bloch, “In a Roman Osteria” (1866)”

  1. Mark September 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    It’s an odd and interesting painting, all right. Kind of unsettling in a way. Notice, too, the substantial folding knife protruding from the fella’s pants pocket. He’s not in a trifling mood. And what’s with the mess on the table?

    • bobbalouie September 24, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      All true. It’s sort of a threatening scene isn’t it? And I left out some insects — check out the fly buzzing around at the left of the table, silhouetted against the white table cloth. Thanks for showing me this one Dutch. It’s a very interesting painting.

  2. Joseph Blotowski March 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I have this painting on a rotating desktop and whenever it comes up, that guy creeps me out to no end! I HATE HIM AND HIS BELLIGERENT LOOK!

    When a painting can evoke such an emotional response, you know it is good. I love this painting. But I hate that guy! UGH!

    • bobbalouie March 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Yes that guy is very threatening! You’re right, it must be a pretty good painting to evoke so much emotion! Thanks for commenting! Bob

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