Corot painted this for his great friend Maurice Robert, who was having it redecorated in 1842 when Corot arrived to stay with him in Mantes. The painter immediately asked him to leave the walls for his brush, and proceeded to decorate them with these enchanting views of Italy, from his memories and sketches of various long Italian journeys. When the house was demolished the panels were saved and re-erected in the attic of the Louvre where they remain.
Corot made sure that every view in the bathroom showed water, from the overdoor Venetian view of the basin of S. Marco with the Dogana and S. Giorgio Maggiore, to the lakeside view through woods.
Matthijs Naiveu, 1647–1721;
Portrait of a Young Woman Holding a Small Dog, 1678
The tame mode of Théodore Rousseau’s landscapes disconcerted both the public and the critics. From 1835 to 1848 his pictures were rejected by the jury of the Salon.
Rousseau painted nature for its own sake, pursuing realism and expressiveness, endowing an otherwise dull landscape with poetic feeling, eschewing anecdotal devices or literary references. After scouring the French countryside, he found ideal spots to paint in the forest of Fontainebleau, near the village of Barbizon, which allowed him to fully express his feelings and emotions. The success at the Salon of 1851 of the Edge of the Forest at Fontainebleau, Setting Sun, a large landscape commissioned by the State, was a token of the official recognition that had been won by the open-air Barbizon painters after 1848.
Montauban, 1780 – Paris, 1867
H. 0.90 m; W. 0.70 m
The proud image of Charles Cordier (1777–1870), inspector of the Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines (land registry) in Rome, is set against a view of Tivoli, in the Roman countryside. According to the model’s daughter, the landscape was painted by Marius Granet (1775–1849), a friend of the artist.
Baron Pierre-Narcisse Guérin
Paris, 1774 - Rome, 1833
The shepherds in the tomb of Amyntas
Painted for the first time the artist in Italy (1802 - 1805), this table refers to a bucolic antiquity and is similar to the Arcadian Shepherds Poussin (Louvre). The subject is taken from the New romances Gessner, a collection of pastoral after Virgil and Theocritus.
Domenico ZAMPIERI, known as DOMENICHINO
Bologna, 1581 – Naples, 1641
Timocles Captive Brought before Alexander the Great
H. 1.14 m; W. 1.53 m
This painting, which was intended for the drawing room of the villa (destroyed) of Cardinal Peretti Montalto in Rome, was one of a series of eleven painted between 1607 and 1615 illustrating scenes from the story of Alexander the Great. Five others by Albani, Baglioni, Antonio Carracci, and Lanfranco have been identified.
After the army of Alexander the Great invaded Thebes, Timoclea is brought before him to be judged for having stoned a captain who had use violence against her. Alexander touched by her righteousness and pride, sets her free.
Giulio PIPPI, known as GIULIO ROMANO
Rome, 1499? – Mantua, 1546
The Adoration of the Shepherds with Saint Longinus and Saint John the Evangelist
H. 2.75 m; W. 2.13 m
On either side of the Nativity are Saint Longinus, who is holding the lance with which he stabs Christ and the crystal pyx containing the sponge soaked with sacred blood, and Saint John the Evangelist holding a chalice; in the background is the annunciation to the shepherds.
The painting was executed between 1532 and 1534 at the request of Duke Federico Gonzaga for the chapel of Isabella Boschetta in the church of Sant’Andrea in Mantua, dedicated to the relic of the blood of Christ. Two frescoes were added to the altarpiece, which was then moved at some unknown date to the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua.
Baron Antoine-Jean GROS
Paris, 1771 – Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine), 1835
Joachim Murat (1767–1815), King of Naples
Salon of 1812
Joachim Murat (1767-1815), a cavalry officer, married Napoleon’s sister Caroline in 1800. He participated in many of the emperor’s military campaigns and rose to the rank of marshal in 1804. Four years later, Napoleon designated him “King of the Two Sicilies” (he actually reigned only in Naples). Murat was admired for his handsome appearance and his flamboyant uniforms. Marshal, king of Naples: in the set of Napoleonian chess, Murat is the rider, splendid warlike in extravagant costumes, Murat is the insane, impetuous one and unwise, Murat is the queen who needs the evidence of affection of her Master to offer all her devotion. He is treated like a pawn, placed on a throne without liberty of action. From there, a treason with half-consumed, a fine tragedy in an Italian village.
Antoine-Jean Gros’s parents were miniature painters. He entered Jacques-Louis David’s studio in 1785 and then trained at the Académie Royale. After losing the Prix de Rome competition and suffering his father’s death and bankruptcy, Gros turned to portrait painting for income. With David’s assistance, he went to northern Italy in 1793, where he studied art by Peter Paul Rubens and the Venetians. There he met Napoleon, who would become the subject of some of Gros’s most celebrated paintings.
Between 1804 and 1808 he labored on three heroic paintings featuring Napoleon. They caused a sensation, and Gros became France’s most honored painter. Gros’s vibrant use of color was much admired: “You are not sufficiently concerned with color, my dear sirs,” he told his pupils. “Yes, it’s color which gives poetry, life and charm-no painting can come to life without it.”
After the Battle of Waterloo and David’s exile, Gros worked for the new king and took over David’s large studio, which became Paris’s mecca for advanced painting. Although Gros inspired Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix with his dramatic subject matter, bold technique, and use of color, he shifted his style toward a more restrained Neoclassicism. His late classicist works-depicting ancient myths rather than creating Napoleonic ones as he had once done-evoked adverse criticism, and he drowned himself in the Seine.
Luino?, c. 1485 – Milan?, 1532
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist
The subject is from the New Testament (Mark 6). Salome had danced so well for King Herod that he swore he would grant her any request. Her mother, Herodias, who sought revenge on John the Baptist, persuaded Salome to ask for his head
1543 – 1614
Theagenes Taking the Torch from Chariclea (1590)
The Ethiopian princess Chariclea was white, because her mother worshipped the snow-white Andromeda. Fearing accusations of adultery, her mother gave Chariclea into the care of a priest at Delphi. When the Pythian games were held there, one of the participants was Theagenes. He had come to make a sacrifice, and when Chariclea handed him the torch to light the sacrificial fire, love was kindled in both their hearts. Theagenes won the foot-race and received the palm of honour from Chariclea.
Antoine-George-Prosper Marilhat, usually known as Prosper Marilhat, (26 March 1811, Vertaizon – 13 September 1847, Paris) was an Orientalist painter. Many of his most successful works were based on the sketches he drew during the time he spent in Egypt in 1831–32.
Cento, 1591 – Bologna, 1666
Saint Peter Crying before the Virgin, also known as
The Tears of Saint Peter
H. 1.22 m; W. 1.59 m
This work was probably painted for Prince Ugo Boncompagni (1614–1676).
The former title The Tears of Saint Peter is probably linked to the famous poem (1560) by Luigi Tansillo bearing the same title.
Tears of Saint PeterLuigi Tansillo - sixteenth century
The anguish and the shame but greater grew
In Peter’s heart as morning slowly came;
No eye was there to see him, well he knew,
Yet he himself was to himself a shame;
Exposed to all men’s gaze, or screened from view,
A noble heart will feel the pang the same;
A prey to shame the sinning soul will be,
Though none but heaven and earth its shame can see.
Giulio PIPPI, known as GIULIO ROMANO
Rome, 1499? – Mantua, 1546
The Triumph of Titus and Vespasian (1537)
H. 1.22 m; W. 1.71 m
This painting, inspired by the Lives of the Caesars by Suetonius, shows Titus and Vespasian, wearing laurel crowns and being crowned by Victory, following the captured Judaea, embodied by a female prisoner being led by her hair, preceded by the seven-branched candelabra taken in Jerusalem.
This is one of eleven panels painted by Giulio Romano in 1537 for Federico Gonzaga to decorate the Sala di Cesare at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, where they were placed beneath portraits of emperors by Titian. Other fragments of this decorative scheme, which was dismantled in 1627 and then acquired by Charles I of England, are conserved at Hampton Court.