Rus Articles Journal

Jean Honore Fragonard, “Latch“. Love or violence?

Jean Honore Fragonard are the master love, and sometimes and obscene, sketches. Usually they are playful, rather easy, are perceived without special thoughts about a plot and heroes. But this cloth, apparently, is beyond usual flirtation.

Two in the room, he and she. He is almost undressed, it is almost dressed. What is going on? And where occurs?

At the left at a picture sawn-off shotgun - the overturned chair. On the right, almost in a corner, - some subject reminding ornament. Behind an enormous red curtain - the crumpled bed.

At a door the young man in underwear the right hand tries to close a latch, left strong presses to himself the girl. The girl furiously resists, her right hand turns away a face of a domogatel.

The room is rather poor: the elementary door, furniture almost any (a bright red curtain - only to emphasize uneasiness of the moment).

So who they are are heroes of a picture? It is possible to assume that it - not servants (on it - a rich dress), it is rather - the sponger or the partner. It - most likely, the son of the host. Perhaps, it someone from a service staff.

How it got to it into the room? Probably, knew that it here - here has to return to itself. Perhaps, the room was open, maybe, he made to it a key. It seems that he only waited for the moment when it enters, and was adjusted to take it sudden attack.

It, seemingly, is not ready to such turn at all. Its fierce resistance says that she does not want it, it is not necessary to her now. What was before - it were unknown, maybe, any hints on rapprochement, but now...

As a result - before us a violence scene. Most likely, he will achieve the. And what to do to it? To reconcile? To wait for the next violence? And then to give birth to the unwanted child? Or to declare on it in police and to achieve condemnation?

The criminal legislation since ancient times prescribes punishment for violence, but the victim has to shout, it has to be heard, and those who heard its shouts have to testify to it in court. Most likely, in this case it will be almost impossible to prove fault of the tyrant: the door is closed, nobody will hear shouts.

And maybe, the situation is a little differently? The main character of the novel of the French writer Choderlos de Laclos “Dangerous liaisons“ (the novel was published in 1782) the marchioness de Mertia tells the accomplice and the lover as she managed to humiliate one of admirers. That it was clear up to the end: the marchioness - the unsurpassed libertine, her accomplice viscount de Valmon - it under couple.

She appoints meeting, waits for the victim “in an easy night toilet“, opens for him a door: “I was won, absolutely won, did not manage to tell also the word to stop it and to be protected. Then he wished to settle in the way, more convenient and suitable to a case. He damned, the attire which as he assured, alienated him from me.“

I at this moment it begins to ring a hand bell, servants who with a shame turn out the half-naked gentleman are. Next day history becomes known, the reputation of the gallant ladies` man is discredited.

In Fragonard`s picture the situation is full of dramatic nature. But the option of such succession of events is not excluded. The picture appeared in six years prior to the publication of the novel. Who knows, maybe, the novelist saw a picture, and it was for him a push? Though the author writes in the preface that correspondence (epistolary novel) original.

The woman is torn from embraces, the man tries to achieve the. Most likely - will achieve...