Hanna Hirsch Pauli (1864-1940) was a Swedish scenery and portrait painter. She was a friend of Eva Bonnier, whom she followed through the painting school of August Malmström, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm. It is currently in the Nationalmuseum in Sweden. Breakfast Time played a role in Pauli’s breakthrough in the Nordic art scene in the 1880s. Let’s have a look at it below.
As was the case with most other Swedish artists of her generation, her painting stood closer to the French juste milieu painters than to most impressionists; nevertheless, the thickly applied paint she used to show specks of light on the white tablecloth on her 1887 painting Frukostdags (Breakfast Time) (in Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) provoked one critic to comment that she had probably used the cloth to clean her brushes. Wikipedia
This is major to me. Initially it did not please Swedish critics, they say Pauli’s techniques as too radical at the time it was completed in 1887. The light in this work is superb. The brushwork at intervals which does not blend or touch other brush strokes is phenomenal. The light spot fields which result from broad brushwork, too, was really innovative.
Breakfast Time, for me, is replete with wonderful masterful detail. My favourite part is the large kettle in the centre of the table. The brush work makes the kettle so realistic, I find it quite staggering. Secondly, I adore the blue glass sugar or yoghurt holder. All the glass ware on the table and the lighting effects which highlight the points at which the light is going through them is deeply impressive to me.
In addition, the perspective work on this painting is great, the large bench in the foreground, followed by the table and lastly the maid bringing additional breakfast provisions are all done very well. The light on the tablecloth implying the tree out of the painting is the final highlight I would like to bring to your attention.
This is such a wonderful painting to me, it made my day when I first saw it. I hope it has brightened yours.