Léon Pallière (1787–1820) in His Room at the Villa Medici, Rome

Jean Alaux French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 638

Both the sitter and the artist of this work received the prestigious Prix de Rome for history painting, allowing them to live and study for several years at the Villa Medici, seat of the French Academy in Rome. There, Alaux painted a group of portraits of fellow laureates in their private rooms. In this example, Pallière plays a guitar in a space decorated with the drawings, casts, and books that speak to his ongoing artistic education. A far more intimate image than the public commissions these artists completed, the portrait is a testament to friendship in a pivotal chapter in the lives of two young painters.

Léon Pallière (1787–1820) in His Room at the Villa Medici, Rome, Jean Alaux (French, Bordeaux 1786–1864 Paris), Oil on canvas

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