Today I am happy to share 'The Lover Caught Unawares' by French painter Charles-Melhior Descourtis. This work depicts a candid, tender moment between two young lovers within an idealized Rococoesque forest setting. In a highly theatrical fashion, our couple is perfectly centered amidst the plentiful foliage—perhaps too perfect—and for me this meticulous placement stands in sharp contrast to the amorous exchange between our two subjects. The sentiment shared between the lovers is warmhearted, however the execution of this work as a whole feels very calculated. Perhaps that odd combination is why this work appeals to me. I love the detail within the scene, however it does feel a bit indulgent if not artificial, drawing attention away from the couple.
Scenery aside, the reaction of the man to his lover’s surprise is endearing. Taken off guard, he seems like gentle fellow, if I were to judge by his body language alone. I notice his hand reaching up for her’s, seemingly exhibiting no sign of aggression. This work presents a very sweet exchange between two young people sharing a playful moment together.