Art Critique: Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

Mr and Mrs William Hallett ('The Morning Walk') by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

When I went to the National Gallery in London, England, I saw a life-size, oil and canvas painting by Gainsborough titled, “The Morning Walk.” I liked it for three simple reasons: 1) I love Gainsborough’s light, feathery brushstrokes 2) I related the painting to my boyfriend and me walking my silly dog as part of our daily routine. 3) It was featured as a backdrop in the James Bond “Skyfall” movie– when he first meets Q (CLIP HERE).

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

However, I digress. The point is, this painting was made for a simple reason: to create a marriage portrait for William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen (both aged 21 at the time) and due to be married in the summer of 1785. The couple solemnly link arms to walk in woodland landscape with a panting, joyful Spitz dog at Elizabeth’s heel. According to the National Gallery, “Portraits of wealthy sitters posed in a natural setting and dressed in their finest (but not necessarily most practical) clothes were a popular status symbol.” The conversation piece, which is the undone jacket and with one hand tucked into it is a stance seen in many fashionable 18th-centry informal portraits. There is also speculation that Elizabeth’s ivory silk dress is her wedding dress.

Art Critique: Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow by Piet Mondrian, 1930

Expressing a universal cosmic order with Art

 Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow by Piet Mondrian, 1930 – Part of the De Stijil Art Movement

Piet Mondrian’s intention was to move the viewer through his clean, balanced compositions in his pieces. It was his belief that his viewer can conceptualize the spirit realm, which existed outside of time and space.

The artwork uses primary colours of blue, yellow, red with values of white and black, and along with horizontal and vertical lines to create a harmonious, balanced composition.

Fashion Designer, Yves Henri-Donat Matthieu-Saint Laurent (one of my favourite designers better known as YSL …OR “SLP”) was inspired by Mondrian when he created the “Mondrian” Day Dress (Fall 1965) . He knew that “the planarity of the dress was an ideal field for colour blocks” (Metropolitan Museum of Art). An excellent example of how art and fashion meet.