Dreams of Desire 40 (The Girls from the Provinces)

Paul Delvaux-Silent Night 1962

As a child Paul Delvaux devoured the work of the writer Jules Verne, especially Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and characters and scenes from Verne would populate Delvaux’s canvas throughout his career. The eccentric Victorian professors are frequently the only male (and fully clothed) figures in the predominantly female (and undressed) Uneasy City that is the setting for all Delvaux’s paintings.

Silent Night is from his later period and there is a variant entitled The Girls From the Provinces that features the same cast of characters in different positions and set in the late afternoon as opposed to night-time. The embracing girls from the provinces, on the right, make explicit Delvaux’s fascination with lesbianism that is usually only hinted at in his paintings.

37 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 40 (The Girls from the Provinces)

  1. Is the ‘outstretched hand’ a thing? The bespectacled professor holds that same hand out pose as did the skeleton and the lady in the previous post. I like all the shadows, the moonlight and the deep blue night sky. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’ll leave us all wondering. However, if you do it just so… it will not be dissatisfying. The reader can decide the outcome for themselves. But if we are no more enlightened than we were in the beginning? That is frustrating!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool. 🙂 And I, too, wonder about the outstretched hand, but my imagination thinks maybe he is beckoning the ladies his direction…? I don’t know but it’s fun to ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mr, Cake, another wonderful painting. All of the works of Delvaux that you have shared so far, have had a very dreamlike quality to them, almost nightmarish in the fact, all of the figures have such a mannequin like appearance to them, like they are in a hypnotic state, or better yet a catatonic state. I really like the darkness in these paintings, providing such unnerving feelings of the strange and bizarre. ~ Miss Cranes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miss Cranes I am glad you enjoyed the short series on Delvaux who i think you will agree is a definite Cake artist. You made an excellent point regarding the stagey nature of the buildings in Sleeping Venus, you are always very astute.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… How about we just call him, “M”? But the following is cute, and I never do cute, here goes.

        Mr. Mistoffelees

        He is quiet and small, he is black
        From his ears to the tip of his tail;
        He can creep through the tiniest crack,
        He can walk on the narrowest rail.
        He can pick any card from a pack,
        He is equally cunning with dice;
        He is always deceiving you into believing
        That he’s only hunting for mice.
        He can play any trick with a cork
        Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste;
        If you look for a knife or a fork
        And you think it is merely misplaced–
        You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn!
        But you’ll find it next week lying out on the lawn.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Not I, kind sir…but I believe the man in the painting would. 😉

        Is it perfume from their dress that makes him so digress?

        But the man in the picture looks hopeful…as though the women might still sing to him.

        Liked by 1 person

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