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The Two Sisters (Chassériau painting)

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The Two Sisters
Théodore Chassériau 003.jpg
ArtistThéodore Chassériau
Year1843
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions180 cm × 135 cm (71 in × 53 in)
LocationMusée du Louvre, Paris, France

The Two Sisters is an 1843 oil painting on canvas by the French romantic artist Théodore Chassériau. Completed when the artist was twenty-three years of age, it depicts Chassériau's sisters Adèle and Aline. It is housed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.

The work is a product of Chassériau's early maturity, when he was eager to demonstrate his independence form his former master, J.A.D. Ingres, with whom he had had a falling-out in 1840. When the painting was exhibited in the Salon of 1843, the response of the critics and the public was mixed. One critic, Louis Peisse, wrote:

M. Chassériau wanted, perhaps unnecessarily, to undertake a difficult thing, to do a painting with two figures of women, both full length, of the same height, both in dresses of the same color and the same fabric, with the same shawl, posed in the same manner, and to sustain that gamble of sorts without using any artifice of light or effect, solely through the authority of style, form, and character. Did he succeed adequately? I do not think so. Nevertheless, he executed that tour de force with a resolution and skill that deserved to prevail.[1]

Although the representation of the identically dressed sisters suggests twinship, Adèle (on the left) was thirty-three and Aline (on the right) was twenty-one when they posed for the portrait.[1]

By the time of Chassériau's death in 1856, The Two Sisters was regarded as one of his most important works.[2] It entered the collection of the Louvre in 1918.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Guégan et al. 2002, p. 132.
  2. ^ Guégan et al. 2002, p. 134.
  3. ^ Gowing 1987, p. 666.

References[edit]

  • Gowing, Lawrence (1987). Paintings in the Louvre New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. ISBN 1-55670-007-5
  • Guégan, Stéphane; Pomaréde, Vincent; Prat, Louis-Antoine (2002). Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856: The Unknown Romantic. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 1-58839-067-5