The Poorly Defended Rose, 1789


Oil on canvasexpand_more

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Linskyexpand_more  64.63.1

The Poorly Defended Rose is supposedly a scene of seduction. Yet the woman's raised hand and expression of dismay at the man's advances calls that narrative into question. "The plucked rose and broken pitcher both symbolize the woman’s "de-flowering." One might think that the intruder is in the wrong, yet Garnier’s title for the painting blames the woman for not adequately protecting her own virtue. Garnier might have set out to paint a frivolous moralizing tale about a "fallen" woman, but imagine how a female painter might have pictured the encounter differently. What social or economic realities might Garnier’s highly polished style have glossed over' Today, in the age of #MeToo and open conversations about sexual consent, the encounter takes on a different light.



Garnier, The Poorly Defended Rose (#523)
The Poorly Defended Rose
Artist Life
1753 - 1819
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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