Exhibit image
5 9.7 (3)

The Scarlet Letter  1861

by Hugues Merle

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of "The Scarlet Letter" (1850), regarded this painting, which William Walters commissioned from Merle in 1859, as the finest illustration of his novel. Set in Puritan Boston, the novel relates how Hester Prynne was publicly disgraced and condemned to wear a scarlet letter "A" for adultery. Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister who fathered her child, ...
H: 39 5/16 x W: 31 15/16 in. (99.9 x 81.1 cm)
oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum