Ennui: The Princess Who Never Smiled

"The only horrible thing in the world is ennui, Dorian. That is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness."

The Picture of Dorian Gray


Porcelains and Peacocks has been remiss about postings lately and perhaps it had been due to a case of ennui. In the Russian fairy tale The Princess Who Never Smiled the subject of the story is so melancholy that she has never laughed. Her father the King offers her hand in marriage as a reward to the man who can amuse her. Those that fail have their skin stripped from their backs and salt rubbed into their wounds. Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926) shows The Unsmiling Tsarevna suffering the attentions of fortune seekers. Venetian painter Federico Zandomenegh (1841-1917) was influenced by his friendship with Edgar Degas concentrated on depicting women as seen in his pensive painting Languor. Regarded as one of Australia's greatest artists, Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) worked in many mediums. His voluptuous nudes such as the oil painting Languor were controversial at the time; in 1940 sixteen crates of his work were impounded by American officials and burned as pornography.