I saw what I usually saw: a bull as sweet as a cow, the horns harmless as croissants, dulled by a wreath of flowers, Europa terrified--those eyes rolling back, showing white--carried off, tricked by the seemingly mild bull that is Zeus in disguise, the rape about to occur. As always I was charmed by the cherubs, particularly the one that floats face down on air as if on water.
I looked again. O! The rape seems to have already occurred. Europa is done in, helpless, limb-loosened. Those figures on the distant shore are mourning. No wonder the bull is pacified, his eyes reasonable and mild.
Did Mrs. Gardner look at her great paintings with fresh eyes or did she stop seeing them? I like to think that from time to time she saw them as if for the first time.