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Big Girls in Art: Woman with Flowers | Manolo for the Big Girl

Big Girls in Art: Woman with Flowers

Woman with Flowers by Sophie B. Steel. Poster print of this painting is available here.

(Francesca has no information on this artist or on the painting other than the name of the artist. If you are familiar with Steel’s life or works, please leave information or links in the comments.)

Francesca asks: In your mind, how is this woman feeling? What is she thinking about? What is she doing?

4 Responses to “Big Girls in Art: Woman with Flowers”

  1. Katharine December 12, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    She is thinking, “why did I ever let this fellow Steel paint my picture, if he was going to arrange those flowers, in conjunction with my leg-of-mutton sleeves, such that I no longer appear to have the waist into which I painfully corset myself every morning.”

    The “big” here is a trick of obstruction and perspective, I believe, as you can see by the outline of her face.

  2. Francesca December 12, 2007 at 2:09 pm #


    The Francesca sees your point but disagrees. She knows many women with slender faces and big bodies. They wear large sizes, but have the social advantage that they are not thought of as being large, because usually people “size us up” based on the face and neck before anything else.

    Anyway, this is the Big Girl blog. If we want her to be Big, she is now Big!


  3. loretta December 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm #

    It works the other way, too. Full face on middling inbetweenie body = FAT GIRL.

  4. rosarita December 12, 2007 at 6:28 pm #

    Well, she doesn’t look to me as if her mind is on the task at hand. Perhaps she is gathering flowers with which to assemble floral arrangements for the house, part of her daily routine as lady of the house, and she’s thinking about a life that she can only now imagine. A life in which a woman can be strong and creative, freed of corsets and convention, to be educated and have endless choices in how she wishes to conduct her own life. Our lady sighs a bit, because to be a wife and mother are laudable goals to be sure, but somehow feel constrictive to her. She wishes, perhaps, to enter the business realm that her husband Alistair is part of, wanting to bargain shrewdly for the purchase of the property next door. Ah, well. What Alistair wants is her portrait over the mantle. Back to the task at hand.