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The subject probably illustrates one of La Fontaine's 'Contes', although none accords precisely with the view painted. The scene may possibly relate to 'The Remedy' (V, vi), which tells how a young maiden of Le Mans persuaded her parents to accept her favoured suitor as her bridegroom, although their union was initially kept secret. One evening the girl complained of feeling ill to her governess, who was ignorant of her charge’s marriage.
oil on canvas
H 32 x W 40 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1868; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897