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Work Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers

Department of Paintings: French painting

Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers

© 1989 RMN / Daniel Arnaudet

Paintings
French painting

Author(s):
Pomarède Vincent

This painting and its companion piece, The Lover Crowning his Beloved, were part of a set of four works commissioned by the Countess du Barry for a lodge in the grounds of her château in Louveciennes. The series was on the theme of "love progressing in the hearts of young maidens."

A return to the ideals of Antiquity

The Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers is one of the earliest 18th-century French paintings to hint at the desire to breathe new life into painting by returning to the ideals of Antiquity. The painting was influenced by writings on esthetics by Winckelmann and Caylus, as well as reflecting the artist's own esthetic thinking. Vien was the teacher of Jacques-Louis David. He began to try and impose his neo-classical vision of art some twenty years before his illustrious student took up the cause.

A commission for the Countess du Barry

The Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers and its companion piece The Lover Crowning his Beloved were two of the four paintings in a series of four works on the theme of "Love progressing in the hearts of young maidens." The series was commissioned by the Countess du Barry for the semi-cupola-shaped drawing room in a lodge in the grounds of her chateau in Louveciennes. Two of the four panels were confiscated during the Revolution in 1793 and are now in the Louvre.

Technical description

  • Joseph-Marie Vien

    Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers

    1773

  • Oil on canvas

    H: 3.35 m; L: 1.94 m

  • Confiscation of the Countess du Barry 's art collection during the Revolution

    INV. 8431

  • Paintings

    Sully wing
    2nd floor
    Vigée Le Brun
    Room 52

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