The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Timon of Athens
  • Thomas Couture (1815 - 1879)
  • Timon of Athens
  • France
  • 1857
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 19 x 24 cm
    Object size: 45.5 x 50 x 9.5 cm
  • Signature: 'T.C. / 1857'
  • P265
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The most finished version of a subject, an allegory of greed, which occupied Couture for several years. The source was Shakespeare’s 'Timon of Athens', particularly III, vi and IV, iii. Timon, a rich Athenian who ruins himself by his generosity to friends and flatterers, is deserted by them until in exile he discovers a hoard of gold, whereupon they return seeking favours. The unbridled greed assocaited with the regime of Napoleon III (1852-70) was bitterly opposed by Couture. The Wallace Collection's painting is the most finished surviving version of a subject which preoccupied him for several years.