Victor Ostrovsky logo image
The Messenger
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Story Behind The Art
In Henry IV, Shakespeare advised against "shooting the messenger." Of course, he wasn't a spy. The messenger in this painting looks safe enough, but any spy knows instinctively that any situation can be a setup. And there's reason to be suspicious—the message is being delivered in a remote, deserted area. The ocean waves are perfect for covering the sound of any unpleasantness. Sure, the messenger is alluring. But she's part of the game, not just a pretty face. We must always remember that things are rarely as they seem. Sometimes shooting the messenger may be the best thing.