The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 26, 2018

A Night Class, c. 1881

oil on wood panel, Framed: 97.2 x 82.5 x 12.5 cm (38 1/4 x 32 7/16 x 4 7/8 in.); Unframed: 60.8 x 45.4 cm (23 7/8 x 17 13/16 in.). Bequest of Noah L. Butkin 1980.292

The artist himself described his painting of a night class: "Under smoldering electric lights, a model in historical costume poses for eager, ambitious art students. A few of them might have real talent, some could become commercial artists, but most, unfortunately, have no future in art at all."

Although trained in a conservative academic style, Vibert here pokes fun at his own artistic tradition. Vibert was fond of caricaturing the pretentious elements of 19th-century French society. The work was shown at the 1881 Salon exhibition.

Signed lower left: J. G. Vibert

Paris, Palais des Champs-Élysées. Salon (1881), no. 2346, Un atelier le soir.
Paris, Palais des Champs-Élysées. Exposition Nationale (1883), no. 688, L'Atelier du Soir (Salon de 1881), 60 x 45 cm.
CMA. The Artist and the Studio in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (1978), no. 20, 37, 42, 65 (repr.).
Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN (8/26/2012 - 11/15/2012): "Breaking the Mold: The Legacy of Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Art", ex. cat. no. 76, p. 216-217.

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