Artist: H. A. Brendekilde (1857–1942)
Title: While reading the newspaper news
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Height: 61 cm (24 in); Width: 85 cm (33.4 in)
Inscriptions: Signature and date bottom right: H. A. Brendekilde / 1912
What I love about this painting:
There is a story in this well-executed painting. I particularly like the details: the patched trousers of the gardener, the mud on his clogs, the other man’s wooden leg— I like the way they are juxtaposed against the lush spring garden and prosperous village life of Denmark in 1912.
Their hands and clothes indicate they have stopped work to read the newspaper. Both men seem stunned. Are they perhaps reading of the death of King Frederick VIII, who died on 14 May 1912?
Whatever they are reading, the cat remains undisturbed by the news.
H. A. Brendekilde was a forerunner of the social realist style, embraced by Diego Rivera. His early work often depicted the daily lives of the rural working class.
Credits and Attributions
While reading the newspaper by H. A. Brendekilde 1912 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:H. A. Brendekilde – Mens du læser avisen nyheder (1912).jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:H._A._Brendekilde_-_Mens_du_l%C3%A6ser_avisen_nyheder_(1912).jpg&oldid=300367623 (accessed February 5, 2021).