Luiz found this beautiful book at our favourite flea market in Geneva. I liked the cover image and title, which echoes the English idea of keeping to ‘the spirit of the letter’. It’s a collection of paintings that feature letters, and in the style of art books in the past, each colour plate has been glued in.
The title page has a lovely sketch by Rembrandt of Jan Six writing a letter in his house, though at first glance I thought he was writing in an inn or coffee house, something which, as far as I am aware, only my brother and I still do.
Source: L’Esprit de la Lettre dans la Peinture, Jean Leymarie, Geneva: Editions d’Art Albert Skira, 1967
Front cover image: Portrait de Mademoiselle Lavergne by Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789)