Thinksheet
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Thinksheet

How to Read Paintings: The Long Engagement by Arthur Hughes

A poignant image of love frustrated by society’s expectations

Detail from ‘The Long Engagement’ (1859) by Arthur Hughes. Oil on canvas. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. Image source Birmingham Museums Trust (open access)

Paint is usually thought to be a static medium, capable of depicting only frozen instants of time.

Yet with a little bit of inventiveness, it’s possible for paint to represent the passage of time too.

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