Bank Holiday - William Strang
“Bank Holiday” is painted during the Edwardian era in 1912 by the Scottish painter William Strang (03/02 1859 - 12/04 1921). At around 1910 Strang painted images of people he knew, e.g. his family or friends, wearing fashionable clothing, in imaginary settings to convey the aspects of heterosexual relationships. Strang has, deliberately, understated “Bank Holiday” for ambiguousness.
In the painting we see; a sharply dressed man looking down in (what I assume is) a menu, a nicely dressed woman looking at the man, both are sitting down at a table. We also see; a man in a tuxedo (I assume he’s a waiter), some sort of black pet, presumably a dog, ...view middle of the document...
The woman looking at the man could suggest that they’re currently on a date, though seemingly an awkward one, since the man and the waiter is looking down. The woman’s look seems eager yet displeased. Her arms are on the table, making her interest in him more prominent. Her cheeks are red, so either she is blushing and/or wearing make-up. The latter seems likely, since her skin is incredibly pale, and her lips are red. That and the clothes suggest that she is a part of the upper-class and her white gloves may be a sign of refinement and/or disdain of bacteria, dirt and filth.
The man is wearing a brown suit with a brown bowler hat, which is quite Victorian/Edwardian-esque. The man look show disinterest in his surroundings, including the woman. His left leg is outside of the table, whereas hers are inside of the table, making him seem ready to leave at any point. His bowtie seems poorly tied, that plus the leg could indicate that he is quite busy, though that seems to contradict the title “Bank Holiday”.
Strang included the pet and some flowers, which are generally accepted as symbols of devotion. The old man in the background seems to be looking down onto an obscure object in his hand. On his table there’s a bottle of wine. The rest of his table is cropped out of the image, leaving his agenda there ambiguous; perhaps he’s sitting there with his significant other? Maybe he’s there alone? The fact that he’s looking down could indicate that he’s there alone, but the bottle of wine makes it seem like he’s there with another person.