This is Hush! by French painter James Tissot. I came across it as I was looking for paintings of women with violins while choosing the artwork for Kilmeny of the Orchard. It doesn't fit the theme for that novel, but I'm in love with it because I've imagined this very scene so many times over the course of my ongoing love affair with romantic historical fiction. I've been trying to think of specific novels featuring scenes similar to this one.
I'm thinking of the scene in Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn where Brisbane accepts an invitation to play violin for the guests, and of the ladies in Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series, who play instruments and often hold musical gatherings. This painting also brings to mind one of my favorite composers, Chopin, who believed his music was best enjoyed in intimate settings rather than concert halls, and who played many salon parties like these in Paris. I know there must be a dozen other novels swimming around in the back of my mind, but of course when I need to remember their titles they escape me.
How about you? Does this scene remind you of anything you've read lately? Please share it in a comment so I can add it to my list!
POSTED BY: Jenny Q