Ferdinand Waldmüller: (1793–1865): The Love Letter, 1849

Ferdinand Waldmüller: (1793–1865): The Love Letter, 1849

5/1/2021, 1:17:59 PM
Ferdinand Waldmüller: (1793–1865): The Love Letter, 1849, oil on canvas, 76 x 61.5 cm, Private Collection 'The Love Letter' by Waldmüller depicts two young women reading a letter. The girl in red observes her friend’s emotions and has placed her hand affectionately on her shoulder. The reader’s garment has slipped and exposes her right shoulder. They are surrounded by darkness; only a candle they hold in front of the letter produces any light. This candlelight brings about a completely charming effect and creates a warm, golden atmosphere. Waldmüller paints the concealed light source shining through the paper with great virtuosity. The light lends the figures solidity, giving them a sculptural appearance. The compact composition is staged in a theatrical manner, with the faces and emotions of the women the central focus. As is typical of Waldmüller, he stresses the narrative moment as well as his extreme subtlety and the material presence of his subjects.

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