Musée d'Orsay: Léon Benouville Christian Martyrs

Léon Benouville
Christian Martyrs

Christian Martyrs Entering the Amphitheatre
Léon-François Benouville (1821-1959)
Christian Martyrs Entering the Amphitheatre
Oil on Canvas
H. 470; W. 390,5 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Christian Martyrs Entering the Amphitheatre

Benouville first presents a small picture on this subject at the Salon of 1852. The subject, the martyrdom of the early Christians, glorifies the virtues of courage and hope, and enables the artist to display his knowledge of classical history.
The vertical format and the effect of perspective highlight the two figures in the foreground, who seem to advance towards the viewer.

The Académie des Beaux-Arts, who saw in it the wished-for revival of history painting, obtained an agreement from the State to commission the artist to produce this monumental version.

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