L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Staircase of the London Residence of the Painter, by Pieter Christoffel Wonder, 1828

Save for the poor dead animals arrayed on the left - which I long to Photoshop out - I find this a charming painting.The artist captures the soft light so beautifully, the precise, individual ways it interacts with the various surfaces:  the waxy finish of the light wood paneling; the dry, unvarnished floorboards; the flat weave of the carpet runner, the bronze and glass of the hanging lamp.  But I especially admire the perfectly calculated perspective of the space, and the movement created by the depiction (or intimation) of four different levels of the house, all leading the eye down and out into the garden.

(And, actually, I think the composition of the painting would have been even stronger if we'd been spared the "poor dead animals".  Ah, artistic choices...!)


Pieter Christoffel Wonder (10 Jan 1780, Utrecht - 12 July 1852, Amsterdam), Dutch painter, active in England.  He was self-taught, although he did attend classes for two years at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In 1807 he helped establish the Kunstliefde (Love of Art) Society in Utrecht. Wonder primarily painted portraits, although he also painted some interior scenes in the style of the Dutch seventeenth century masters.


  1. Charming indeed. I love the mood of the piece a good deal, sans the roadkill, of course.

  2. Love this scene -the bench looks almost modern! I love the carpet with the greek key border.