Love Seduces Innocence, Pleasure Entraps, and Remorse FollowsEnlarge image

Love Seduces Innocence, Pleasure Entraps, and Remorse Follows, 1809

Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
French, 1758 - 1823
oil on canvas
98 x 81.5 x 2.5 cm
Purchased 2012
National Gallery of Canada (no. 45443)

In this allegorical painting, Prud'hon explores the register of eroticism. The title subject preoccupied this tormented artist during his sojourn in Rome from 1784 to 1788, as evidenced in a sketchbook dated 1788. Over some thirty years, no fewer than seventeen of Prud'hon's drawings or prints approached this theme with a sombre pessimism, which culminates with this work. The bas-relief composition testifies to the artist's attraction to antiquity, softened here by his sensitivity to the hazy atmospheres favoured by Leonardo da Vinci and Correggio. Commissioned by Empress Josephine, this canvas was to be shown at the 1810 Salon, but the plan was abandoned when Napoleon divorced her in late 1809. Following Napoleon's marriage to an Austrian archduchess, any public exhibition of the painting was inconceivable, and the work remained in the artist's studio until his death. That the painting is unfinished may also reflect the patron's painful circumstances.



No Audio


No Media

Library and Archives

Search for catalogue entries


No Extras

More from Pierre-Paul Prud'hon

Head of Bacchus Head of Bacchus
19.2 x 19.5 cm