16 March 1850 was the day on which “The Scarlet Letter” was published, becoming an instant best-seller
The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, considered this painting the finest illustration of his novel.
Set in a village in Puritan New England, it is the story of an adulteress banished from society and forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her dress as punishment for her adultery.
By depicting the woman and her daughter in a pose that recalls that of the Madonna and Child, the painter wanted to underline the themes of sin and redemption
🖍 “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
🖍 “Nessun uomo può, per un tempo considerevole, portare una faccia per sé e un’altra per la moltitudine, senza alla fine confonderle e non sapere quale delle due sia la vera.”
🖍 “Personne ne peut pendant très longtemps se montrer un visage à lui-même et en présenter un autre au reste du monde sans finir par s’y perdre et se demander lequel des deux est le vrai.”