The Death of Britannicus
Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol French
Not on view
This is the only known full composition study for Abel de Pujol’s first major success at the Salon, "The Death of Britannicus," for which he won a first-class medal in 1814. The painter drew upon the tragedy from Roman history as recounted by Jean Racine in 1669. At center, Agrippina strides forward pointing at her son Nero, accusing him of poisoning Britannicus, whose collapsed body appears highlighted in white on the left. The planar composition, strong light effects, and voluminous drapery enhance the theatricality of the scene.