Berthold Woltze (1829 - 1896): The Irritating Gentleman

Berthold Woltze (1829 - 1896): The Irritating Gentleman

12/11/2021, 3:11:32 PM
Berthold Woltze (1829 - 1896): The Irritating Gentleman (Der lästige Kavalier), 1874, oil on canvas, 75 x 57 cm, Private collection . "The Irritating Gentleman" is a work by Berthold Woltze, a nineteenth century German painter and illustrator. While the title of this painting directly references the man, the vantage point encourages us to identify with the plight of the young woman, his unfortunate captive audience, as she stares outward to the viewer. Either by social status or out of courtesy, it would seem she were obligated to endure his unwanted attention, and he seems fully aware of her disadvantage, perhaps even playing it up as he casually occupies her personal space. Perhaps her sadness, with tears in her eyes is not central to her undesirable company. She could’ve just experienced a loss of a loved one and it unable to effectively handle the “gentleman.” Whatever the case, he most certainly isn’t making matters any easier for her. The use of light sources in the painting is really intriguing. The back window, flooded with sunlight, is used to draw attention to the man as he leers down. The young woman is casting a shadow upward—almost in a triangular shape, allowing the light from her passenger window to more dramatically highlight her face. She really does seem unhappy. Hopefully she'll reach her destination soon. ‘The Irritating Gentleman’ is a good reminder that sometimes friendly conversation should be exercised with consideration. 🌟(Best of 2019)🌟

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