Jul 9, 2007

A Night Class

A Night Class

c. 1881

Jehan-Georges Vibert

(French, 1840–1902)

Oil on wood panel

Framed: 97.2 x 82.5 x 12.5 cm (38 1/4 x 32 1/2 x 4 15/16 in.); Unframed: 60.8 x 45.4 cm (23 15/16 x 17 7/8 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.

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