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The Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French, 1780 - 1867

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

14 7/16 x 12 7/16 inches (36.7 x 31.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 399, European Art 1500-1850, third floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 793

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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Ingres here depicts Saint Symphorien, a Roman Christian of the second or third century, being led to his execution for his contempt of a pagan image. Symphorien's mother shouts encouragement to him from the city wall. In the fifth century, a church in honor of Symphorien was built at Autun, France, the scene of his martyrdom. In 1834, Ingres completed a monumental altarpiece of the subject for the cathedral at Autun, and some thirty years later he painted this small-scale replica.

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