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April 4, 2016 —

91 Loves… vintage portraits

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There is something intriguing and delicately beautiful about old portrait paintings, despite many of them being of middle aged, often unattractive, men! The wonder at a life once led, not only of the sitter but also the painter, what the story was behind it and what journey it has taken since brush touched canvas. We will most likely never know with many of them, but what we do know is they bring a real focal point to a room, drawing the eye towards the subject, and well, just looking very very cool.

Photo via Zigouis on Instagram

Photo via Zigouis on Instagram

Photo by Eve Wilson via The Design Files

Photo by Eve Wilson via The Design Files

Photo by Kara Rosenlund

Photo by Kara Rosenlund

Unexpected placement of these paintings is what makes them work so particularly well in a modern living space. Whether it’s above a casual table, leaning against kitchen tiles or in a bathroom, it is this along with the absence of a frame on many, that de-formalises them. You can imagine what some of these important looking men might think if they knew we were now displaying their portraits next to the loo!  

Photo by Manolo Yllera via SF Girl by Bay

Photo by Manolo Yllera via SF Girl by Bay

Photo via Oscarv.be

Photo via Oscarv.be

The male portraits, with their dark, moody tones, are striking, particularly against a fresh, white backdrop, but we are also drawn to the softer palettes of these female paintings below. These look stunning when displayed alongside items which pick out the paint colours, accentuating and complimenting them. 

Photo by Alissa Saylor via Design Sponge

Photo by Alissa Saylor via Design Sponge

Photo by Cody Ulrich via Design Sponge

Photo by Cody Ulrich via Design Sponge

if you’ve got any of these beautiful paintings in your own home, we’d love to see them! Just share a pic on social media and tag us in @91magazine and #91magazine_styling

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