The Wallace Collection

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The Punishment of the Hooks
  • Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803 - 1860)
  • The Punishment of the Hooks
  • France
  • 1837
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 90 x 135.5 cm
  • Signature: 'DECAMPS. / 1837'
  • P345
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1839, this became one of Decamps’s most renowned and admired paintings. It was begun when the artist was in Rome in 1835. Bound prisoners, probably thieves, are being thrown over battlements on to massive hooks. It is not known whether Decamps witnessed such a scene during his Oriental tour in 1828, but such sights were regarded by many Europeans as characteristic of Oriental life. The critic Charles Blanc described Decamps's painting as 'an incomparable image of Musulman barbarity'. The 4th Marquess of Hertford, who usually avoided violent subjects in his paintings, hung this work in the bedroom of his apartment in Paris.