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The Tree of Love
Accompanied by lyrics for "The Tree of Love" (sung to the tune of a well-known song) and "Moderation" (sung to the tune of "Colin Said to Lisa One Day," a popular ballad composed during the French Revolution)

Artist/maker unknown, French. Published by Gangel, Metz, France.

Made in Metz, France, Europe

Mid- 1850s

Stencil-colored relief print

Image: 12 1/8 x 18 1/2 inches (30.8 x 47 cm) Sheet: 16 x 25 9/16 inches (40.6 x 64.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Alice Newton Osborn, 1958

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The marginal text flanking this work's central image of elegant females in pursuit of eligible bachelors became a characteristic feature of popular prints in the 1800s. Typically, these borders supplied the name of the tunes to which typeset verses were intended to be sung aloud, be they nursery rhymes, spiritual hymns, or, as in this case, romantic ballads. In an appeal to the ears of buyers of such prints, street peddlers--known in France as colporteurs--commonly chanted the printed words in unison, filling the air with melodies familiar even today, such as Frère Jacques.