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  • Filial Piety (The Paralytic)

    Artist:
    Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. 1725-1805
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    115x146 cm

Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. 1725-1805

Filial Piety (The Paralytic)

France, 1763

Greuze painted a whole series of now famous works on family morals, of which this is an excellent example. The painting is known by various names - Filial Piety, The Paralytic and his Family, The Benefits of a Good Education - and shows an aged, paralysed man surrounded and cared for by his good and loving family. Painted in 1763, the work brought renown to the author and was purchased by Catherine II through the mediation of Denis Diderot, a famous French philospher of the age of the Enlightenment, who was much impressed with the artist's work. Diderot described the genre as "morality in paint" and it was he who first called this painting The Benefits of a Good Education, in keeping with the new aesthetic principles by which art should play an educational or enlightening role. The artist constructed his painting like an Antique bas-relief, dividing it into clear, precise planes, in order to emphasize the significance of the story and the moral it contains. At the same time, he revealed a great gift for realistic depiction in his ability to capture expressive poses and gestures, for which he made many preliminary drawings and studies.

Title:

Filial Piety (The Paralytic)

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

115x146 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1766; purchased from the artist by Catherine the Great

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1168

Category:

Collection:

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