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The Love Letter
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The Love Letter

Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In this intimate boudoir scene a young woman is strategically positioned in front of a mirror so that the light source, blocked from view, reveals the reflection of her face and shoulder while silhouetting her form. Her chemise falls from one shoulder to reveal her back. Around her neck is a strand of coral beads, gleaming in the light, and in her hair is tied with a green ribbon. She leans against a pier table reading a letter in which only the greeting "May dear" is legible. On the table at the left is a discarded mask and on the right a bouquet of dried flowers beneath a glass dome. Inserted beneath the rabbet of the mirror frame is a card inscribed "W.H.D.C. Wright / Rome." William Henry De Courcy Wright (1795-1864) of "Blakeford," Queen Anne's County, Maryland, traveled in both South America and Italy. The painting passed through five generations of descendants to its donor to the museum. Unaware of the artist's signatures, the family traditionally attributed this picture to Hans Heinrich Bebie (ca. 1800-1888) a specialist in portraits and enigmatic domestic genre scenes. Bebie was a native of Zurich who emigrated to Baltimore.
Date Description Narrative
1/24/1980Examinationexamined for condition
Provenance William Henry De Courcy Wright, Blakeford, Queen Anne's County, Maryland [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Anne Gordon Boyce Baldwin (Mrs. Ludlow Baldwin), by inheritance [passed down through five generations from Wright]; Walters Art Museum, 1979, by gift.
Inscriptions [Signature] bottom left edge (and edge of marble tabletop): G. Mazzolini
Credit Gift of Anne Gordon Boyce Baldwin (Mrs. Ludlow Baldwin) in memory of Mrs. Anne Gordon Johnston and Miss Mary Gordon Thom, 1979

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ca. 1855
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 26 3/8 x W: 21 1/16 in. (67 x 53.5 cm); Framed H: 35 x W: 29 1/4 in. (88.9 x 74.3 cm)
  • Italy (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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