Oil on canvas
Overall: 49.9 x 61.3 cm (19 5/8 x 24 1/8 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2022.40
Shortly after submitting this sketch, the artist was imprisoned for not being sufficiently loyal to the republic.
Painted during the French revolution’s treacherous Reign of Terror, in this prize-winning sketch for a national competition, the artist took inspiration from an actual event. In 1789, wives and daughters of several prominent artists donated their jewelry to the service of the young French republic. Suvée recasts the event in classical Roman style, underscoring the connection between the ancient republic and France’s revolutionary ambitions.
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