Oil on canvas
Framed: 76 x 66 x 8 cm (29 15/16 x 26 x 3 1/8 in.); Unframed: 55.2 x 46 cm (21 3/4 x 18 1/8 in.)
Gift of George S. Kendrick 1952.542
Known as a tête d'expression or "Expressive Head," this painting represents an essential part of the academic training of history painters-artists who specialized in religious, mythological, or historical subjects. In 1760 such exercises became standard at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris. Focusing on the relationship between morality and beauty, the goal of a history painter is not only to present viewers a pleasing image, but also to elevate their moral standards by representing the emotions of the soul.
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