The Furtive Messagec. After 1877 by
Worms, Jules 1832-1924
Here Worms re-creates a Spanish street as it might have appeared in the time of Goya. The background is based on a watercolor sketch the artist made during an 1877 visit to Slamance. The picturesque setting forms a backdrop for a farce. As so often in Worm's work, love is at the heart of the comedy, in this case an old story told long before by Goya, and more recently by Fortuny: a mismatch of a pretty young woman and her old but presumably wealthy husband. Worms shows a predictable outcome. The beautiful maja, wishing a rendezvous with her young lover, has dropped her fan, which her husband politely recovers. Worm's is a comic-opera version of old Spain, in which every young woman is attractive, every young man dashing and handsome, and every husband a buffoon.
In the background, shades are drawn against the intense sunlight that impressed the artist during his 1860-1 visit to Spain. When in the northwestern part of the country, he was struck by the sparkling light like that depicted in Fortuny's paintings: "No more shadows! But light, electric light." The orange-brown background and bright accents of the costumes to the impression of luminous warmth.
Size (inches): 23 3/4 x 19
Medium: Oil on Panel
Location: McKee Room