The Letter by Garnier | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: The Letter by Garnier

June 27, 2011

The Letter by Garnier

Michel Garnier, The Letter. 1791. Minneapolis Institute of Art.

I love this painting: The Letter by Michel Garnier.  The young lady has just received a letter and with excitement she jumps up from her practice, her thin skirts still clinging to the velvet chair.  Her blue sash falls down her her side as she reads the letter, letting the envelop fall hastily to the floor.  She shows off the miniature that was sent with it to her companion, a token sent by her lover.  In all the excitement caused by this letter a cup from the tea service has tipped over!


  1. I love little domestic scenes like this. After awhile, so many formal portraits get boring. I love to look at all of the detail, the half peeled orange on the tray, the vase of roses, the forgotten envelope. Lovely!

  2. Same thing that happens to me whenever I get an e-mail.