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Charlotte Corday in Prison, (painting)

Artist:
M'leod, William
Muller (copy after)
Subject:
Corday, Charlotte
Type:
Paintings
Exhibition Catalogs
Date:
1876
Notes:
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 67 (Sale info: $400.00).
"After Charles Louis Muller. Charlotte Corday in prison. original in the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C. (illustration, page XXX.] " William M'Leod, curator of the Corcoran Gallery, studied art in his earlier years and attained considerable proficiency in it. Since he has had charge of the Corcoran Gallery, he has made copies of several of the most important pictures, some of which are so much like the originals as to deceive connoisseurs. The 'Charlotte Corday,' here shown, is exactly the size of the original. Since it was painted, a rule has been established that no copy larger than two thirds of the size of the original picture in the gallery shall be made. " Charles Louis Muller, painter of the original picture, was born in Paris in 1815. Pupil of Gros and Cogniet. Member of the institute of France, and officer of the Legion of Honor. the recipient of numerous medals. Of Muller, Jarves, in his art thoughts, says: 'Muller attempts nothing that he can not do thoroughly well, and in a quiet, truth-telling manner. His system give all to art, regardless of exhibiting the artist. . . . Muller paints history as Motley writes it, picturesquely, and with insight in to its emotions.' " The following, concerning this picture, is taken from the admirable catalogue of the Corcoran Gallery - prepared by Mr. M'Leod: " Charlotte Corday, descended from a noble family, though a republican, determined to rid the republic of the blood-thirsty Marat, who sent to the guillotine all opposed to him. She managed to obtain an audience with the monster while he was in his bath, and as he was in the act of taking the names of some of her countrymen as fresh victims, she stabeed him to the heart. After a trial she was guillotined on the 7th of July, 1793, aged twenty-five years. She never repented the deed, and displayed firmness and composure to the last. " The artist has depicted her in the garb of a rustic, with tricolor ribbons on her cap, resting languidly upon the rusty iron bars of her prison window. Her right arm is braced against the stone wall, the hand holding a pen, supporting the drooping head. The left hand clasps the iron bars - a touching contrast between its delicate, slender fingers and the rusty metal. The pose of the form shows weariness, as does also the pale face looking through the grating with thrilling, earnest mournfulness. She appears as if, weary with writing the noble letter below, to her father, she had sought the window for air untainted by prison walls. Her mouth shows unfaltering firmness, and her eyes show watchfulness and sadness - but not the sorrow of personal affliction. There is in them no sign of remorse nor of regret, unless over the necessity of her terrible act. " 'Pardon me, my dear father, for having disposed of my life without your permission. I have avenged many victims - preventing others. The people will one day acknowledge the service i have rendered my country. For your sake i wished to remain incognito; but it was impossible. I only trust you will not be injured by what if have done. farewell, my beloved father. Forget me, or rather rejoice at my fate, for it has sprung from a noble cause. Embrace my sister for me, whom i love with all my heart. Never forget the words of my heart. Never forget the words of Corneille - the crime makes the shame, and not the scaffold.' " The picture is free from the tragic treatment the subject is too apt to receive from French artists. Its color throughout is grave and subdued. The clear, pale face, the plain gray garb, the stone wall and rusty bars, are all in solemn keeping. Even the rosy tips of the exquisitely moulded fingers harmonize with the prevailing gravity of color." [P. 17]
Illustrated Catalogue of Works of Art in the Art Building of the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Ky. August 16 - October 25, 1884. Prepared by Charles M. Kurtz, Director of the Art Department. Editor of National Academy Notes and the Art Union Magazine. Published for the Art Committee by John P. Morton and Company.
Artist address: Washington, District of Columbia.
Topic:
Portrait female
History--France--Napoleon
Figure(s) In Interior--Civic
Architecture--Civic--Prison
Architecture--Detail--Wall
Architecture--Detail--Window
Control number:
AECI 03860067
Data Source:
Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index

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