The Spirit of the Letter In Painting

I was over due for my weekly visit to the post office and though normally I respond to all my letters before returning for more (this policy helps keep me on track) I was behind on writing and I felt things would only get worse if I didn't collect my mail now. Along with the regular letters and cards I found a yellow slip that announcing the arrival of something too large for my box. Usually my box number is written on it but oddly the slip was blank. I took it to the window and the postal clerk (the ever pleasant lady--really, she's always smiling) said, "Box 196?" One thing I like about living in a small town is that people know you. "Yes!" I thanked her for handing me a decorated package and I left eager to find out what was inside. To my great delight Lady Pamela had sent me a book called "The Spirit of the Letter in Painting." It's full of artwork on the subject of letters. Some of the paintings are familiar to me (as you can see from the side of this blog I'm an admirer of Vermeer's Letter Ladies) but many are new and I look forward to getting acquainted with them. I haven't yet had a chance to read even a chapter of the book but I know I'll appreciate the pictures even more when I've had a chance to learn something about them.

As I initially thumbed through the pages the painting below was the first to catch my eye. Young Woman Reading a Letter by Jean Raoux is a new delight to me. The book explains that she holds the letter up to an unseen light but it looks to me as though she is illuminated by the letter. That alone is something to reflect on. Hmm, my mind starts to run in several directions....

Lady Pamela, I thank you heartily for this most thoughtful gift. I am already enriched. A thank you letter will soon be on its way!

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