A Gentleman Comes to Call

Endless Summer 1979

A Gentleman Comes to Call.

Afternoon on the veranda and visiting hours are open. The gentleman leans down into the personal space of the young woman. This is his only hope for a prospect of intimacy; meanwhile a seemingly obsequious mother occupies herself with her handwork. A conversation is in play with eyes and words which we can only imagine.

The gentleman holds firmly to the rail, taking care not to lose his footing, which is none too secure. The young woman holds something: is it a muff, handwork, a gift, or some type of defensive instrument? Friendship carries its risks and its joys. Fenced in, and at a disadvantage in her chair, she has no where to maneuver. The beau and the mother bar her retreat. Only toward us can there be any hope of escape. Her innocence and youth; could that be the white gift she still grasps?

This is an encaustic work on paper by artist Elizabeth Luallen from her Endless Summer Collection. This piece was created in the early 1980s. Elizabeth Luallen lived from 1932-1995.