Romans of the Decadence
Attributed to Thomas Couture
Romans of the Decadence, ca. 1847
Oil on canvas
42.7 x 67.3 cm (16 13/16 x 26 1/2 inches)
Mary B. Jackson Fund 54.004
Nineteenth-century politics informed this depiction of an ancient Roman orgy. The artist considered the image an allegory for institutional corruption and excess at a time when France was governed by former Napoleonic officers and members of the French elite. Couture painted a monumental version of the work in 1847, and it became one of the most influential images of the mid-1800s. That larger work spawned smaller versions (such as this one) made for French and American collectors.
Some young artists studied with established painters such as Couture instead of attending the government-sponsored Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts). Couture’s students embraced his idea that a painting should preserve the freshness of the initial sketch.(December 16, 2016 – July 2, 2017)
European Paintings and Sculpture, ca. 1770 - 1937
Edited BySlimmon, Ann H, and Judith A. Singsen, eds.
Contributions byRosenfeld, Daniel, et al
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1991
TypeMonographs and CollectionsA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and CollectionsExchange Exhibition, Exhibition ExchangeFrom the Collection of Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; From the Collection of The Museum of Art, Rhode
Contributions byMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Waltham, MA: Rose Art Museum, Brandesi University., 1967