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Nude Youth Sitting by the Sea. Figure Study

© 2007 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

French painting

Pomarède Vincent

Like the Oedipus painted by Flandrin's master Ingres, this study of a nude youth was sent to Paris in 1837 as representative of the work of the fourth-year students at the French Academy in Rome. Ingres' purism is here taken to extremes: the human body is close to achieving the primeval form of the circle.

Classical esthetics and contemporary tastes

This refined nude is a perfect example of the neo-classical esthetic practised by Ingres' students. The backdrop of a seascape heightens the rather eerie atmosphere of the scene, showing how this generation of artists undertook to renew the classical esthetic and realign it with contemporary tastes. Hippolyte Flandrin was a superb portrait painter, one of Ingres' most talented disciples, and one of the finest exponents of neo-classical art. He is also one of the major figures in the history of religious painting in the 19th century.

The 1855 Universal Exhibition

The painting was sent from Rome to Paris in 1836 as an example of the students' work. It was shown at the 1855 Universal Exhibition in Paris and was purchased in 1857 by Napoleon III's civil list. The emperor then donated the work to the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris.


Technical description

  • Hippolyte FLANDRIN (Lyon, 1809 - Rome, 1864)

    Nude Youth Sitting by the Sea. Figure Study


  • Oil on canvas

    H. 0.98 m; W. 1.24 m

  • M.I. 171

  • Paintings

    Sully wing
    2nd floor
    Room 940

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