Classic Romanticism

Regrets by Claude-Marie Dubufe, 1826-27

I liked this painting and wanted to know more, but alas, I could find little depth to the online listings. Before I share the snippets I found, I invite you to take a moment to inspect the image. I love the gorgeous overstuffed pillows which caress the woman’s creamy pearl-white skin. Men must have written sonnets to this vision. Look closely at the model’s face. Do you see tears brimming on her eyelids, balanced on the edge of falling? Are you enchanted by the opulence of the pristine bedclothes? Do you wonder what the significance is of the gold chain she clasps in her hand?

Claude-Marie Dubufe painted this picture in 1826-27, and it is titled Regrets. It’s classic Romanticism. That time in early nineteenth century Europe when poets like Byron and Shelley were cultural idols and stoked the popularity of images like this. Per Wiki, the movement’s “emphasis on intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience” is in full evidence. Does the art reflect the times or do the times reflect the art? It’s hard to say.

Today’s List of Links

According to Wiki: Claude-Marie-Paul Dubufe (1790 – 1864) a French historical, genre and portrait painter, was born in Paris in 1790 and studied under [Jacques-Louis] David. His subjects were at first classical, and then scriptural. He then gave himself up to the painting of genre pictures and portraits. His reputation rests chiefly on his portraits, of which he produced a large number.

Wiki has a brief overview of Romanticism you may want to check out.

You may want to take a look at the item listing at the Norton Simon Museum website

Today’s Musical Selection: Where Eyes Converge by Danny Heines



  1. Not sure I get it. Painting is not my strong point. I see a pretty, bored young rich girl.

  2. Bored? My how things change in 190 years. I’ll grant you that the overwrought nature of the painting might read as an emotional teenager’s outrage. The ‘this is the end of my world’ certainty that can overcome a young woman who doesn’t have enough life-experience to understand that life, does indeed, go on despite humiliation, loss and yes, regret. Me, I get lost in the painter’s superb technique and in considering how the literature of Keats, Shelley (both Mary and Percy), Poe, Coleridge, Blake, Wordsworth and even the Brontë sisters, contributed to and may have even inspired the popularity of paintings such as this.

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