In her liberated, recovered state, Anna feels joyful: the whole situation with her husband seems like a feverish dream. She has transferred her former love for her son onto her daughter, and she is infatuated with Vronsky. She fears losing him and thus never leaves his side. Vronsky, however, feels trapped, and he seizes at any and all new activities to fill the days; painting is his latest fancy. Vronsky is good at imitating art, but he is only inspired by art, not by life. He likes the showy French school and begins painting a portrait of Anna in this style that everyone admires.
Anna is hectically blissful in Italy: she has regained her health and beauty and wants to envision herself, her daughter, and Vronsky as her new family unit. However, Anna doesn’t fully trust Vronsky (who had an affair with her, after all), and her jealousy makes her insist he stay nearby. She is also obsessed with maintaining her appearance so that Vronsky’s eye won’t wander. Vronsky needs a project to occupy his mental energies, since he can’t go out into society with Anna keeping him on such a tight leash.