An image of The sons of Clovis II

√Čvariste Vital Luminais

(France 13 Oct 1821 – 15 May 1896)

The sons of Clovis II

Other titles:
The sons of Clovis
19th & 20th c European art
Further information

This demonstration of parental discipline of the Merovingian period remains shocking more than a century after its completion. It says much for the grotes-query of nineteenth-century Salon painting, of which it is so spectacular an example, that 'The sons of Clovis II' is still a collection favourite. Alarmed by her sons' rebellion against their absent father, King Clovis, their mother - the regent Sainte Bathilde - has their tendons cut before sending them, immobilised, downstream on a barge to their fate. Though Luminais foreshadows the salvation of the malefactors in the distant shape of a Benedictine monastery, he is clearly more concerned with their present gruesome predicament. His great success with this painting in the Paris Salon of 1880 was not repeated, its cadaverous sensationalism proving a hard act to follow.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

oil on canvas
190.7 x 275.8 cm stretcher; 218.8 x 335.0 x 8.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.l., brown oil "E. Luminais [underlined]". Not dated.

Purchased 1886
Accession number
Source unknown, Paris/France, Purchased by the AGNSW in Paris 1886