A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Over


I have a secret love of art and art history. I took a few art history classes in college, and I’ve loved learning about the subject ever since. I love all the different periods and styles of art and how every painting tells a story. I love looking at a beautiful piece of art and thinking about how all the individual elements come together to give an overall effect. I especially love paintings of people, portraits as well as multi-figure compositions.

The Happy Family by Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller is one of my favorite pieces. I love the story it tells of a happy family, together and enjoying life in spite of hard circumstances. I love the range of age and experience, showing an infant as well as an older married couple. It reminds me of how perspective changes with age and how life takes on new and different meanings the longer you live. Most of all, I love how Waldmuller visually described the love and happiness we feel when we are with our families. We all need each other; this is a truth of human nature that will never change.


1 Cathy November 5, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Where did you get your print of Waldmuller’s “The Happy Family”. I can’t find it anywhere.

2 vanillajoy November 9, 2007 at 3:52 pm

The copy I have is from a religious magazine I receive monthly called the Ensign. This picture was on the inside front cover and I cut it out and saved it. If I find out where you can purchase a print, I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks for commenting!!!

3 Marie December 18, 2007 at 12:44 pm

I just visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Museum of art and history and found this picture. It is available at (80l)240-3592. Their address is 45 North West Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3470.

4 Allanna March 13, 2008 at 11:29 am

Since you’re loving art history, you might enjoy the feature (Tuesdays and Thursdays) at mentalfloss.com of “Feel Art Again.”

Here’s the link to the “review session”: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/12881

(And how come it took me this long to know that you had a blog? If I’d have known earlier, I’d have been reading it LONG ago!)

5 vanillajoy March 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Well, hello!!! I didn’t know you were a blog-reader, some people haven’t quite caught on to the AWESOMENESS of blogs! I’m so glad you found mine!!! How did you find it?

I looked up Feel Art Again and I found some of my favorite artists on there! I’ll have to add that to my list of blogs I like to check daily.

Come back again (and I love when people make comments too)!!!


6 Worldwide Tapestries May 14, 2008 at 12:23 am

This picture you have here is simply lovely. You can see all the characters interacting with one another, and this sort of makes the picture ‘flow’ from one person to another. I think that this makes paintings of people created in the various eras especially fascinating!

Tom Matherson

7 mentalutopia February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I have the same picture framed and hanging in my dining room. I also got it from the same source–The Ensign. I think the back cover artwork may be my favorite part of the whole magazine!

8 Rosetta October 12, 2009 at 8:18 am

I also had this same picture in my hall for quite some time. I actually just took it down yesterday. I got it from the Ensign. There was a quote written at the bottom. Today I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve searched online and can’t find it anywhere. Do you still have your copy up and could you tell me what the quote at the bottom is Please?

9 Hels October 29, 2009 at 2:08 am

I am not sure that I would have liked Waldmuller’s paintings, had I seen them in a gallery without explanation. But the more stories I read about post-Napoleonic VIenna, the more I realise how wise Waldmuller was. In other words, he was absolutely in tune with his generation.

Many thanks for the link,
Art and Architecture, mainly

10 sana July 4, 2011 at 7:11 am

wow what a wonderful pic

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