Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1934.343
Catalogue raisonné: Meder 84
At first the subject of this early print appears to be simple courtly love; in it a noblewoman and infantryman share a private moment of farewell. However, a deeper reading of the image suggests underlying themes related to the power of women. Although the young man’s stance and weaponry establish his masculinity, the woman’s higher social status and physical position on horseback allude to her authority over him. Further, the hat she wears belongs to her lover’s costume, not to contemporary women’s fashion. Her appropriation of his clothing combined with his delicate touch and forlorn gaze creates an instance of role reversal, indicating that she holds the power in this romantic situation.
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