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mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Death of Princess de Lamballe

Léon-Maxime Faivre

Death of Princess de Lamballe - Léon-Maxime Faivre

265cm × 367cm
oil on canvas
Versailles, Versailles Palace
© Faivre Léon-Maxime / RMN / Gérard Blot

View this work in the exhibition The Street

The artist

Little is known about Léon-Maxime Faivre. He was born in Paris in 1856 and studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme, one of the most influential figures of Academic Art during the Second Empire. Academic Art was derided by some as "Fireman Art" due to the unfortunate similarities between the headgear shown in the paintings and that worn by French firemen at the time.

Léon-Maxime Faivre joined the Société des Artistes Français in 1886 and regularly exhibited his works at the annual art exhibitions, known as Salons. Death of Princess de Lamballe featured at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1908. The painting depicts a scene from the French Revolution, the 1792 September massacres, which marked the start of the extermination of the nobility and ushered in the Reign of Terror. A study for the painting has also been preserved—though slightly different from the finished work (featuring one more boy than the painting), a little more animated and less rigid—and is on display at the Musée de Vernon.

Léon-Maxime lived a long, happy and fulfilled life until his death in Paris in 1941.