Maignan, Albert (1845-1908; French)
The Last Moments of Chlodobert (1880)
Oil on canvas, 100.6 x 135.3 cm
Presented by Messrs Wallis & Sons, 1885
National Gallery of Victoria (p.311.5-1)
This painting, shown at the 1880 Paris Salon, and reproduced in a contemporary wood engraving, is typical of Maignan’s historical subjects.
NGV 1894 and 1905 quote from a description of the death (from plague) of the young heir to the Merovingian throne, at the tomb of St.Medard, Soissons, in 580 AD. The artist stages the event theatrically, spotlighting the dying youth’s body.
AR 1885, p.36; NGV 1894, p.35 (I.La Trobe Gallery, no.46; ill.); NGV 1905, pp.26-27 (I.McArthur Gallery, no.49; ill.)
The historical event is described in Gregory of Tours’ History of the Franks (V.35). For an impression of the wood engraving mentioned, see e.g. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3275724&partId=1&subject=16856&page=8. For Maignan, see Bénézit 9, pp.51-52 (listing this work) and AKL 86 (2015), pp.371-72