Window on the orchard

Painting by Vito D'Ancona, one of the Macchiaioli, 1873 The doors of the high window open inward where she leans over leafscrolled rails into greenness gold with the light of late summer. A frail ladder threads the branches, a basket hangs in stillness. Her white gown falls behind her like a curtain blown back by the wind. A streak of light across her left shoulder reflects upward onto the heavy coils of her dark hair. Of her face we see only a patch of cheek; her unseen eyes look out; Vito's gaze, his love: the weightless touch of light.

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