Aug 20, 2015

The Lover Surprised (L'Amant Surpris)

The Lover Surprised (L'Amant Surpris)

c. 1798

Charles-Melchior Descourtis

(French, 1753–1820)

after Frédéric Schall

(French, 1752–1825)

Wash manner etching and engraving printed in blue, red, yellow, and black inks

Sheet: 57 x 45 cm (22 7/16 x 17 11/16 in.); to borderline: 46.5 x 37.5 cm (18 5/16 x 14 3/4 in.)

Gift of the Print Club of Cleveland in honor of the museum's one-hundredth anniversary 2015.151

Catalogue raisonné: Portalis/Béraldi 3; Model/Springer p. 50, plate 20.



A young woman surprises her sweetheart, whom she has found reading love letters in a wooded park. The love-struck fellow carries a miniature portrait of her as a keepsake. Verdant foliage, a nearby brook, and a blooming rosebush signal fertility and the bounty of life. The nude female statue sitting on a pedestal seems to watch the playful lovers.

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