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A young widow re-reads old letters before the bust of her deceased husband, while the faithful and cowed spaniel by her side serves to underline the picture’s theme of mourning and fidelity. Greuze imbues the emotive subject with his own peculiar blend of sentimentality and theatricality. 'The Inconsolable Widow' was painted before 1763, and listed with 'The Broken Mirror' (Greuze P454) in the Salon catalogue of that year, but not exhibited.

The Wallace Collection



The Inconsolable Widow




oil on canvas


H 40 x W 32 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1865; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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