Painting of the Day: “The Alarm; La Gouvernante Fidèle,” 1723

Monday, May 16, 2011


The Alarm
Jean-Francois de Troy
The Victoria & Albert Museum

One of the most popular painters of Parisian court life, Jean-Francois de Troy was just as celebrated for his skill as he was for his slightly tawdry subject matter. This is an excellent example of some of Troy’s romantically-charged handiwork.

Here, we see a scene of two lovers sharing a clandestine meeting in a garden. Their rendezvous is interrupted by a wild-eyed maid whose come to communicate something to her mistress. Perhaps her husband has returned, perhaps her father, perhaps, even, his wife.

With a typically Eighteenth Century color palette of russets, blues, pinks and greens, the painting is alive with color and motion and feels just as vibrant as they day it was completed in 1723.


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