The Wallace Collection

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The Brigand Betrayed
  • Horace Vernet (1789 - 1863)
  • The Brigand Betrayed
  • Italy
  • 1828
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 53 x 64 cm
    Object size: 85 x 95.5 x 11.5 cm
  • Inscription: H. Vernet 1828
    Signature: 'H. Vernet'
  • P577
  • West Gallery III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Painted in the year when Vernet took up his Directorship of the French Academy at Rome (see also Vernet, 'A Roman Herdsmn driving Cattle', P277). A brigand is arrested by a papal dragoon after being lured into a trap by a girl. The subject is probably influenced by the success of Léopold Robert’s brigand scenes (cf. Robert P590-2), but it is also an example of Vernet’s pioneering combination of verism and dramatic intensity to produce an instantaneous ‘snapshot’ image. The brigands who operated in the countryside near Rome were a real threat to travellers, though they also possessed some renown as romantic figures and were often depicted by artists. The date after Vernet's signature was discovered when the painting was cleaned in 2010.