The Furtive Message

Here Jules 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 Salamanca. 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. His work 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.

Located in the McKee Gallery

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