Young Girl Defending herself against Love

Rebirth of Reason

Young Girl Defending herself against LoveYoung Girl Defending herself against Love
William Bouguereau

She's pushing Cupid back, but is really just playing with him.  Youth flirting with adulthood, maybe?

I also like the composition of this painting.  If you follow the lines of the girl's legs and lower body, then her upper body, head, and the top of the tree above her, you see a bow shape.  A parallel bow shape is described by Cupid's body and his wings.  The vertical tree behind him is like a string on the bow, and the whole bow and the arrow that Cupid is holding are pointed straight at the girl's heart.  In addition, the very center of the bow, or the space betwwen the parallel bow shapes of the girl and cupid which is the center of the painting, is the empty space across which Cupid and the girl are locking their eyes in jovial, yet serious contest.  I think maybe on one level you see that the girl is easily pushing Cupid away, but that the composition as well as her expression shows that Cupid's victory is inevitable.

The original French title is Jeune Fille se Defendant Contre L'amour.  I've seen the last word translated as "Love", "Cupid", and "Eros" depending on the site.

(Added by Jeff Landauer on 2/26/2004, 10:40pm)

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