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École française

XVIe-XIXe siècle
Moses Saved from the Waters (c) RMN-Grand Palais (musée Magnin) / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Moses Saved from the Waters

Moses Saved from the Waters

This modello for a painting presented at the Salon of 1785 (now in the Préfecture in Chambéry) is the result of a royal commission. While training in Italy, the painter became fascinated by the antiquities discovered in Campania, admiring their evocative power and decorative possibilities; twenty years later, this biblical subject was an opportunity to put that interest to good use. The naturalness and accuracy of the gestures and expressions, the facility of the drawing and quality of the composition, the beauty of the figures in the draperies who are rather stiff but not pompous, the “Greek” profiles of the faces, the sweeping, evocative landscape, make this accomplished sketch an excellent example of the art of a history painter acknowledging his taste for the decorative, and moving towards Neo-Classicism.

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