HumanitiesWeb.org - "Filial Piety" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze [Selected Works]
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Filial Piety

The Paralytic and his Family

1763: The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

In a deliberate flight from reason and intellect; Greuze felt it was sufficient that we should feel. Grueze was very aware of ways to set the emotions stirring, and at the Salon of 1763 he managed to reduce spectators to tears with this painting.

Greuze painted a whole series of now famous works on family morals, of which this is an excellent example. The painting is known by various names - Filial Piety, The Paralytic and his Family, The Benefits of a Good Education - and shows an aged, dying man surrounded and cared for by his good and loving family. This work brought great renown to Greuze. Diderot described the genre as "morality in paint" and championed the new aesthetic principles by which art should play an educational or enlightening role.

 
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