Leon Lambert After Tony Robert-Fleury, The Billet Doux

Leon Lambert After Tony Robert-Fleury, The Billet Doux

This exquisite late 19th-century etching by Leon Lambert after Tony Robert-Fleury (1837-1911) depicts a Parisian lady reading a ‘Billet Doux’, a love letter. She’s dressed in her fineries, including an elaborate hat, and charmed by its sweet words.

Robert-Fleury was a consummate professional and a regular exhibitor at the Salon in Paris. In this fine example of his work, he’s interwoven a glamorous interior with several symbolic references. Note the almost divine light that passes through gaps in the blind. Conspicuous by its presence but also discreet and partially obscured. And the birdcage, the inhabitant contained, but looking up towards the sky - a glint of freedom, a better existence.

Who wrote the letter? Is she married? Trapped by an overbearing family? How do you read her expression?

Framed and glazed.

Learn more about Tony Robert-Fleury in our directory.

"An intriguing snapshot into a simmering romance."

Medium: Etching on paper
Overall size: 15” x 19” / 38cm x 49cm
Year of creation: c. 1891
Condition: Artwork presents well.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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