Culture Magazine

Tuesday 1st December: Welcome to Muffvent!

By Kirsty Stonell Walker @boccabaciata
Well, here we are again! I can't believe this is the fourth blogvent I have done here at The Kissed Mouth and I have to admit I love every minute of it even though it's always a bit mad.  After last year I got lots of feedback from my readers requesting more paintings that featured a certain ladies accessory.
In fact, I got a request for only paintings featuring a certain ladies accessory.
I always listen to my readers' feedback and so
Welcome to Muffvent!
That's right, 24 days of muff-y goodness to delight you and warm your winter-y days!
Right then, unleash the muffs!

Tuesday 1st December: Welcome to Muffvent!

Woman with a Muff (1916-7) Gustav Klimt

There is no doubting that Klimt loved to paint women.  His many female subjects are treated with the utmost appreciation and are often looking back at us with interest. The subject of Woman with a Muff is using her fluffy hand-warmer to obscure her face as she peeks at us coyly. There is something compelling in the contrast between the dark, deep texture of the furry muff and her smooth, pale face against it; it gives a very tactile effect. Maybe Klimt is saying something further, something about the nature of women.  If the dark fur represents a more animalistic nature, the beautiful, cultured face of the model could speak of the mask of respectability we wear.  Whether or not the artist thinks it is a good thing or not is unclear but there seems to be no threat, just a joke we share. We're all animals underneath, we just hide it.

Tuesday 1st December: Welcome to Muffvent!

The Polecat Fur (unfinished) (1916) Gustav Klimt

During the First World War period, Klimt did a number of pictures featuring women in fur against a vaguely Chinese/Japanese influenced background.  In The Polecat Fur, the motif is very obvious, with figures in Oriental dress backgrounding the woman in the fur coat.  In Woman with a Muff the figures become more abstract, and we are left with a version of Klimt's familiar swirl of pattern and color that emphasises the definite line of the female form. This woman's muff is an invitation to get cosy with her which would be awfully pleasant in this chilly weather...
Last year I suggested lovely things you could buy for your nearest and dearest (or yourself) for Christmas.  I rather enjoy legitimising my uncontrolled spending by making you complicit, so here's my first suggestion:
Tuesday 1st December: Welcome to Muffvent!

Okay, probably not a massive shock as my first suggestion but I have just published my smashing new novel and I would very much like you to read it.  Perfect for a cold, wintery evening, it's about past sins catching you up and murderous mayhem coming to a nice Victorian town.  You can read a splendid review of it here in case you need any further convincing and I very much hope you enjoy it!
To buy click here (Amazon UK) or here (USA) or at a bookshop near you.
See you tomorrow!

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