Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Widow and Her Priest

Widow and Her Priest
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Painting, Oil on canvas, 128x160.5 cm
Origin: France, Second half of the 18th century

In a letter Greuze himself revealed the subject of this painting: "it is a sequel to the various characters already treated by me. It depicts a priest who is going to help a widow and her children with his advice and give them lessons in virtue." A drawing by Greuze in the British Museum contains four figures - the cure, the widow's daughter, the widow herself and her small boy - and reveals Greuze's great powers of observation. Yet the subject is treated by the artist much like a work of literature, in which virtue is rewarded and vice punished.

Source of entry: Palace Museum, Pavlovsk, 1936

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