PACE: MAYDear Gaston
I just finished posing for a painting in a courtyard in Orleans. I wore the same pink costume that I had when you took me to the chamber music concert. Gaston, I have a secret that I will share with only you. In my secret thoughts I would like to rip off this stuffy dress and wear short culottes, a light shirt and dance barefoot in the fields while waving my parasol in the air as the orchestra plays a spirited music. Those around me will all be happy and even form a line as they dance. I know I would probably be banned from society for that. Maybe I should go to the United States and start fresh. Isn’t there a new Orleans over there?
Your Esteemed,

Ed. Note: “Femme, Femme, Femme: Paintings of Women in French Society from Daumier to Picasso” continues through June 3 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Pictured here, Portrait of Madame Valtese by Henri Gervex.