The author of this very unexpected portrait was Firmin Baes, a Belgian painter, pastel artist, draftsman, and print designer. His subject matter ranged from still lifes, genre scenes, portraits, nudes, landscapes, and interiors. He became particularly skilled in working in pastel, a medium he used almost exclusively after 1900. With workers of his father, Firmin Baes developed a pastel technique on canvas that contributed in large part to his fame. The new techniques allowed the application of a powder, with the tip of the thumb or the little finger, to creates a discreet or vigorous aspect to the tone as well as a velvety delicacy to his compositions. The technique brings the essential complement to this artistic evolution, which became more impressionistic.
I don't have much to tell about this painting in particular—it's quite mysterious to me. When this work was made, it was customary in Belgium and the Netherlands to tell children that babies were born out of cabbage, but why does the girl hold one? Is it just a joke? I personally would love to have a portrait with cabbage; it is much more interesting than to have a portrait with books or in beautiful clothes. Or maybe the girl loved veggies? It was so ahead of its time, I imagine that every hipster vegetarian would love to have such a portrait these days! : )
P.S. There are more veggies in painting than you have ever thought! Check this surprising selection of asparagus in art and here are our strawberry paintings forever, just to remember the best of Summer in the late Autumn. Have a great weekend everyone. Don't forget to check out our artsy desk and wall 2021 calendars full of amazing pieces of art at www.shop.dailyartmagazine.com. : )