Your Absence has Gone through Me Like a Thread through a Needle


Your absence has gone through me

Like a thread through a needle

Everything I do is stitched with its color.

W.S. Merwin, born 1927, American.





A pastel on paper, and detail, by Odile Redon, 1840-1916, French, of Mme. Arthur Fontaine when she was 36.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 2016



An Interior with Annette Sewing, 1954, graphite; Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966; Swiss.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 2016





Lise Sewing, c. 1867-1868, oil on canvas.  Auguste Renoir, 1841-1914, French.  Dallas Mueum of Art exhibited in 2017 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





Embroidery; The Artist’s Mother, 1883-84, Conte crayon on Michallet paper.  Georges Seurat, 1859–1891, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY





Gilbert Stuart, 1725-1828, American,painted this portrait of Catherine Bras(s) Yates in 1793/94.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 2015





Penelope, oil on canvas, 1910.  Gari Melchers, 1860-1932, American.  Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art,  Washington, DC



The Needlewoman, oil on canvas, 1640-’50.  Diego de Velazquez, 1599-1660.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC



The Seamstress, oil on canvas, 1916.  Joseph Rodefer DeCamp, 1858-1923, American.  Corcoran Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC



Girl Tatting, oil on canvas, 1906-08; Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1841-1919, French. Philadelphia Art Museum 2016



A painting in oil on canvas by William Merritt Chase, 1845-1916, American, of his wife, Alice, sewing at their Long Island House in 1896.  They had five children and the portrait is sentimentally titled For the Little One. Metropolitan Musuem of Art, New York. 2016.



An 1877 Portrait of Mme Caillebotte embroidering by her son, Gustave Caillebotte, 18481894, FrenchOil on canvasPrivate Collection loaned to an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, New York in 2009



Discussing the stitch, 1881, pen and black ink over Bristol board.  Alice Barber Stephens, 1858-1932, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia




The Lesson, oil on canvas, 1926.  Pierre Bonnard, 1867-1947, French.  ?Baltimore Museum of Art




Mme. de Pompadour, died 1768, embroidering using a tambour frame and an awl.   A painting by Francois-Hubert Drouais, 1727-1775,    French. Oil on canvas, 1763-’64.  National Gallery, London. 



Josephine Knitting, 1916; oil on canvas.  Edmund Tarbell, 1862-1938, American.  Corcoran Collection of The National Gallery, Washington, DC.



Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin; 1773; oil on ticking.  John Singleton Copley, 1738-1815, American.  Mrs. Mifflin is weaving a decorative fringe on a portable loom which may indicate support for the boycott of British goods.  Philadelphia Museum of Art




Woman Crocheting.  Seen in a vintage shop in Philadelphia in 2018.  Unknown provenance.





Lydia Crocheting in the Garden at Marly, oil on canvas. 1880.  Mary Cassatt, 184-1926, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art




Young Woman Knitting, 1883, oil on canvas.  Berthe Morisot, 1841-1895, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




The Space Needle seen through the black basalt Black Sun made by Isamu Noguchi, 1904-1988, American. Outside the Seattle Museum of Art. 2009.



Young Mother Sewing, oil on canvas.  Mary Cassatt, 1824-1926.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York



Woman Weaving A Crown of Flowers, oil on panel, 1675-1680.  Godfried Schalcken, Dutch, 1643-1706.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC



Tambour work stiched  with an awl in silk thread on a piece of hand-blocked silk by a member of Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad, India, 2010 






5 thoughts on “Your Absence has Gone through Me Like a Thread through a Needle

    1. Quips are good. You are oversocialized and no need to apologize. Take your behavioural lead from our new leaders in waiting: Trump and Christie. Bet you a dinner they win.

      Go to the International Pop exhibition at the Museum and you will see how fine these paintings are. All Duchamp’s fault.

  1. Delightful threading of paintings with quote on the blogger’s part. Really enjoyed the contrasts and comparisons of the women and their needles.

    1. Thanks, Susannah!

      I like that little Merwin poem because I often make some little thing particularly for a person and think of them both in the design and the process. And in the colours if I associate that person with colours.

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