Italian Brigands Surprised by Papal Troops1831
In this scene, papal troops intercept brigands who are looting a coach and carrying off its passengers. During the 19th century, brigands, or "banditi," posed a real threat to travelers in rural areas of the Italian states, but they were also idealized as daring outlaws. Horace Vernet, the director of the Académie de France in Rome (1828-34) and professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1835-63), was regarded as a leader of the "juste-milieu," or the middle course between the opposing Romantic and Neoclassical factions in French painting. He chose dramatic, often contemporary, subjects but rendered them with the smooth brushwork and attention to detail associated with the Academic tradition.
- H: 34 1/8 x W: 51 3/4 in. (86.7 x 131.5 cm)
- oil on canvas
- Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
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