I just took a class which helped me understand and appreciate this film. One idea the teacher explained was that the idea of a "muse" is patriarchal. Instead of the painter having all the power and talent and the model being merely a "muse," both the painter and model have power in this movie. Both are looking at the other in equal measure--learning about the other, noticing the other. That was interesting. She also talked about how the slow development of love is part of the feminine principle. This does not mean available only to women. We all have feminine and masculine aspects. But in modern times, the feminine has been devalued. Anyway, the idea of "love at first sight" is essentially masculine, she said. That surprised me! A more feminine love is slow to develop, as expressed in this film. Thanks for your great review and for calling my attention to this film!