Try not to swoon when you look at this. It first appeared to me in one of my high school literature books. I fell in love. For some reason, this painting, no others (so far) have had quite the affect on me that this one has.
Look at her face. Look at it. She is so enthralled and overwhelmed with his words, his feelings, his thoughts, whatever they are, that she has to catch her breath. She gasped in the purest of ways, its all over her face.
And his posture–this kills me!–he is nervously anticipating her reaction to what is clearly a revealing, vulnerable, and honest proclamation that he can barely keep from fidgeting. He can’t sit up right, he is bashfully drinking in every flick of her eyes from line to line, word to word, wondering what line she is on. What moment she is reading. Wondering which reaction belongs to which truth she is reading. The way he clasps his hands to keep from exploding in anticipation… I cannot see this painting and not feel every moment of what they are both feeling. So honest and simple.
I feel everyone should see this. Really see it.
The Sonnet (William Mulready)