Umbrellas - Confession of Love

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Umbrellas
Curated by Max Cantu-Lima

Jean-Honore Fragonard, Confession of Love, 1771
They appear throughout history in royalty and high society. Umbrellas, also known as parasols, shield people from rain, sleet, and sun. Although umbrellas can be quite the intrusion. As for our two love birds in Jean-Honore Fragonard's Confession of Love, part of a romantic series of paintings, do not seem to need this sunshade. The parasol sits idly to the right of the canvas, providing no shelter of any kind to the lovers. Unusually placed right? Think again. By analyzing the strange gap within the trees, the umbrella turns to a phallic symbol. The wide space between the trees... well, no need to say more.

This parasol represents the level of love this couple seems to be experiencing. Fragonard paints of a aristocratic youth and how sexually driven they are. Youth drives the two lovers. They are experiencing each other for the first time and are unable to contain their emotions. Their lives full of pleasures, not having to deal with the cruel struggle of life, which the majority of the French population were experiencing during the 18th century. Umbrellas, while incredibly handy if caught in the rain, can also help bring to life the sexual urges of young lovers.

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