Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1874
Bloch’s genre paintings reflect his sympathy for those who were often overlooked, lonely, or oppressed. His perceptions of character, eye for detail, and appreciation of all that is good in human nature are displyed in his painting of Old People in which the wife is reading to her ailing husband from the Bible. He lies in a canopied bed, his head propped up with pillows. A crutch is leaning against a chair. On the wall hangs a net filled with floats, alluding to the old man’s life spent as a fisherman. A clock acts as a reminder of the inevitable passage of time. It is a simple scene – but one that is full of kindness and tenderness.