The Lock

7:00 AM

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Lock, 1779

'Clack'. The heavy wooden door is sealed from the inside. You are now witnessing a private yet ominous moment. The soft and pale damsel in distress half-heartedly fends off the man's advances. Her face shifts in limbo between curiosity and complete rejection, and her arm is at his throat like a knife, but he simply moves further.

The blood red fabric draped around the bed stands for a passion that isn't present at this moment. There is no passion at all, only lust from the man. An innocent apple sits alone on the table, but that's all it took from Eve. "Just one bite", said the snake. That same snake coils himself around her, constricting her freedom, ignoring her disapproval. On the floor in the lower right corner are some flowers and a vase, which symbolizes women and female genitals. They are knocked over and strewn onto the ground, lying helpless waiting for the darkness to overpower them. Way up high and in the focus of the light is the lock, symbolizing men and male genitals. It is prominent and can trap the woman into submission, it has more status. Lastly, the chair with its legs in the air. The cloth and table covers it up and keeps it hidden. Quite like the man concealing his devilish act from outsiders.

Why would you want this? Because it radiates the injustice of inequality. It will remind you of the evil in humanity, it will keep you weary. Or maybe you and the man in that picture have something in common, you both should be sent to prison. Whatever it may be, this painting is truly moving, and strikes a looming sense of concern into your heart.

Editor's Note: The authors were asked to write sales copy for Edme-François Gersaint, the prominent rococo art dealer who offered a printed catalog of available works.

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