Among my mother’s lesser known works are several allegories. An allegory is a work of art, in this case a painting, with a hidden meaning. Such pieces are common in art history; for example, Michelangelo’s sculpture of Night personified. At one time, Charlotte did several designs for use on china plates, showing the four seasons. Above, you see Spring. There was another version of Spring, never used, that had blooming bridal veil vines for hair. As in Botticelli’s Venus, flowers follow the figure, and little animals rejoice at Spring’s coming. Not far away in real life!
Many times, Charlotte looked at antique photographs for inspiration. Although she was so practiced in drawing that she usually invented any figures, buildings, and settings, she found the old photos thought-provoking. Books such as American Album, edited by Oliver Jensen, and This was Connecticut, by Marvin W. Sandler, gave her ideas for new paintings.
I recently found some enjoyable photographs in the Library of Congress collections. What’s going on, we wonder. Who was in the doorway, with that nice top hat?
I added some details from a few paintings–of course, you could also look at Curve in the Square, Christmas Shopping Street, and many others!