Friday, July 17, 2009

The Love Letter.... or is it ?

This beguilling painting by Jean Honore Fragonard (1770's) has always posed a mystery for many of its' admirers. Is she receiving the flowers or sending the flowers ? The writing on the envelope does not make clear its' intentions.

French novelist Phillipe Sollers is highly intriqued by this mystery, as he writes in Les Surprises de Fragonard: 

It's quite disturbing, I thought the letter was being received, not sent. Unless.... it's being intercepted. Is she a spy ? Who knows ? This beautiful red head, with her beckoning, sidelong glance, must have more than one trick up her sleeve".

The painting is one of many masterpieces found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. You may need to make a trip to NYC and see the envelope for yourself. Or, if you are lucky enough to live in NYC, you must do some detective work and report back to us.

I love the way the bouquet is wrapped. It's so romantic. In fact this is my idea of a perfect Valentine's bouquet. The light coming through the room, her dress, her cheeky glance and her lovely canine companion only add to the allure of this fabulous painting.

So...... any thoughts ?


  1. Since she seem to be sitting at a writing desk, I rather think she's sending the flowers, having just composed the card. Perhaps she is concerned with being considered forward, which explains her charmingly flushed appearance. Whatever the artist's intention, she's lovely.

  2. I look at le petite chien it is as though both pup and fair maiden are peering towards the door waiting for the person who just delivered the bouquet and the clandestine note to leave the room before opening to reveal the secrets of the envelope, hence the flush on her face.....the anticipation of.....



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