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by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Breach of Promise Suit

Breach of Promise Suit

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This painting shows a court case over a breach of promise to marry. This was formerly a common law cause of action when a man became engaged, often after seducing a woman, but later changed his mind and refused to marry her. In this suit, perhaps the bulldog in front of the crate promised himself to the Boston Terrier pleading her case before the judge. Letters, pictures, and jewelry lay on the ground to the judge's right, probably evidence in the proceeding. The puppies on the far left could even be the result of this seduction. The court room spectators look on closely as they watch this soap opera unfold.

It was probably painted between 1909 and 1910.


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