Title: La Justice et la Vengeance divine poursuivant le Crime: Pierre-Paul Prud'hon a emblematická tradice
- Pierre-Paul Prud'hon's La Justice et la Vengeance divine poursuivant le Crime and the emblem tradition
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2014, vol. 63, iss. 1-2, pp. 86-93
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.
La Justice divine et la Vengeance poursuivant le Crime / Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, painted by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, in 1808, for the Palace of Justice in Paris is considered to be the icon of French Justice. In interpreting its genesis and meaning we are helped by several texts and a number of preparatory sketches. These provided two solutions which the artist had proposed for the final composition, both based on two verses of Horace, Odae, 3.2.31–32: "Raro antecedentem scelestum / deseruit pede poena claudo" [Punishment with her lame foot rarely forsakes the fleeing criminal], suggested to the artist by Nicolas Frochot, the prefect of the Departement du Seine. However, the two compositions seem to come from two different words, one traditionally static, the other dynamic. The Prud'hon picture is not only a showpiece of French justice but also one of the key works of nineteenth-century French painting. Its genesis shows that the artist approached the subject following various visual, literary and, in particular, emblematic sources which are discussed in this article.