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  • Jules Joseph Lefebvre
    Mar 14, 1834 - Feb 24, 1912
  • Allegory of Vices and Virtues - Jules Joseph Lefebvre was a renowned French academic painter of the 19th century, known for his exceptional skill in portrait and figurative painting. Lefebvre's artistic talent became evident early in life, and he went on to become one of the leading academic artists of his time.
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Allegory of Vices and Virtues
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  • Allegory of Vices and Virtues

  • Jules Joseph Lefebvre
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  • Oil on canvas
    59.06 x 39.37 inches

    The painting depicts a kneeling young man being coaxed by a group of young women depicting vices and virtues. On the right standing the Glory hands him a laurel branch, beside him he has a woman who is an allegory of Silence. A mature and wise woman caresses the child's head: she has a winged crown and is the allegory of Victory. Behind the Victory a beautiful young woman in a blue dress quilted with stars points towards the sky and the virtues that lead upward. Immediately after she follows Venus, half-naked crowned with roses with a dove (his lei attribute of hers)
    in her hand: she looks at the boy smiling and holds a lyre, signifying the pleasures of love and of fragile and fleeting things. At the feet of Venus a bacchant crowned with ivy and dressed in red observes her lascivious young man, kneeling next to her an auleta with long flutes, blue robes and a head covered with flowers, invites to oblivion and enjoyments. In the background are a veiled woman and a half-naked bacchant with a thyrsus intent on a wild dance.
    The painting is an important work of one of the most significant French painters of the late nineteenth century: Jules Joseph Lefebvre.

    The artist specialized in allegories, genre scenes, portraits and nudes. Winner of the Prix de Rome in 1861, during his stay in Italy he also painted many works with subjects drawn from classical antiquity. Back in Paris he became a famous academic, known for his paintings depicting beautiful and statuary women, both nude and draped. His paintings are in the main French and European museums.

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Other paintings by Jules Joseph Lefebvre:

Allegorical Figure in Profile
Allegorical Figure in Profile
Allegory of Spring
Allegory of Spring
Allegory of Victory
Allegory of Victory
An Elderly Greek Woman
An Elderly Greek Woman
Jules Joseph LefebvreJules Joseph Lefebvre was a French figure painter, educator and theorist.

Lefebvre was born in Tournan-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne, on 14 March 1836. He entered the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1852 and was a pupil of Léon Cogniet.

He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1861. Between 1855 and 1898, he exhibited 72 portraits in the Paris Salon. In 1891, he became a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts.

He was professor at the Académie Julian in Paris. Lefebvre is chiefly important as an excellent and sympathetic teacher who numbered many Americans among his 1500 or more pupils. Among his famous students were Fernand Khnopff, Kenyon Cox, Félix Vallotton, Ernst Friedrich von Liphart, Georges Rochegrosse, the Scottish-born landscape painter William Hart, Walter Lofthouse Dean, and Edmund C. Tarbell, who became an American Impressionist painter. Another pupil was the miniaturist Alice Beckington. Jules Benoit-Lévy entered his workshop at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

Many of his paintings are single figures of beautiful women. Among his best portraits were those of M. L. Reynaud and the Prince Imperial (1874)