• edited July 15
    I really enjoyed listening to the explanation given, @MichaelD.  It makes a lot of sense. The sitter must have been in on the joke or the fly would not have been included. It's a wonderful painting, too. We can even see the shadows of the fly's legs.   :)
  • Im glad you enjoyed it @tassieguy

    After she mentioned the forget me not flowers I started to think about the fly and wondered if it signified that the sitter was dead.

    Some comments under the video also mention that.

    I also wondered why her fingernails look fairly grubby.

    Ye I do think she was in on it.

  • Yes, I noticed her nails, too, Michael. In those days, folks, even high born ladies, didn't wash all that often. I wouldn't want her making me a sandwich with nails like that.  :)
  • Ha ha,

    good point. 

    She may have just finished peeling the spuds.   :)
  • Thanks for sharing @MichaelD. I find the painting and the story really fascinating. I was half expecting the presenter to include in the various speculations of why the fly was added to the painting the possibility that it was added as a symbol of impurity or stain on the character of the woman.

    You mentioned that her fingernails looked odd or out of place, and considering the opulence of her outfit, I would agree. Perhaps the women was not a rich debutant but a common working girl that the artist loved very much and dressed up as a wealthy baroness! The fly added as a symbol of reality.
    Regardless of the truth, which most likely will never be known, it is interesting to speculate!
    That said, it certainly looks like it was painted by a Master! 
  • edited July 15
    I am glad you enjoyed it @whunt, I found it interesting too.

    Your theory is also possible and yes we will never know but its interesting to try and work it out and read others opinions.

    To think it was painted so many centuries ago. As the presenter mentioned, only very wealthy people could afford to haver their portraits done.

    I like your take on it that it could have been a common working girl that the artist loved.
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