I purchased an oil painting not too long ago which was painted in 1919. This is of course shortly after WW1 had ended. It portrays a market scene somewhere in Europe.
In the background, we see people shopping at the market while in the foreground sit women selling pumpkins and cabbages. It must have been a very hard life after the war ended. Markets were short supplied and the variety reduced to what was grown locally. It is hard to tell how many men are in the crowd but the war took so many of them and did not return them. My grand-parents lived in Holland and survived two major wars before emigrating. The painting, although portraying life, does not brim with vibrancy, with the hubbub of a thriving market. It is subdued with muted colours and a coolness of emotion. It has a matter-of-factness about it. It is a statement. The church rises in the background as a visual reminder that it has stood fast, that it remains a focal point for community. An image of life after the war filled with a solemnity and sadness and we should not forget the cause of those feelings.
To an coloured etching by B Wilard. A street scene from Holland. Two people walk away from us making their way homeward.
In the cool of evening in the dark’ning light life is slow. Muted blue/grey colouring infuse this image with a chilly feel. Night encloses this space. Winter comes anon. No church here but a factory, a windmill and a poor gas light to show the path for those on the street.