Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth: Ch. 1 Annotation, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer

Gaskell Blog © Katherine C.

Surely Monnoyer, or whoever the dead-and-gone artist might be, would have been gratified to know the pleasure his handiwork, even in its wane, had power to give to the heavy heart of a young girl; for they conjured up visions of other sister-flowers that grew, and blossomed, and withered away in her early home.

Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer was a prestigious 17th century painter and tapestry designer who focused on floral still-life’s. His works were created for places such as:

  • Versailles Royal Palace
  • Windsor Castle
  • Hampton Court
  • Kensington Palace

The paintings are elegant arrangements; an orderly ‘chaos.’ His style was often emulated in engravings and household decor, such as the panels Ruth admires.

Discussion Question

  • In what ways could the style, use of color, light, and shade of the paintings relate to or represent Ruth?


“Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (1636 – Lille – 1699 – London) – .” London Art Gallery, Paintings, Fine Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2011. <http://www.richard-green.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=45&tabindex=44&artistid=736&gt;.

“Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Monnoyer&gt;.

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