The arrest of the Huguenotka Jacobin de Montebel, Countess d’Etremont, Polenov

The arrest of the Huguenotka Jacobin de Montebel, Countess d’Etremont, Polenov
The arrest of the Huguenotka Jacobin de Montebel, Countess d'Etremont, Polenov - 1

    • Author: Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov
    • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
    • Year: 1875

Overview of the painting :

The arrest of the Huguenotka Jacobin de Montebel, Countess d’Etremont – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1875. Oil on canvas 135 x 88 cm

While studying at the Academy of Arts, Vasily Polenov decided that his main direction in art would be historical painting. It is not surprising that the painter worked hard in his favorite genre and achieved significant success by creating a series of paintings with a clear imprint of individual style and personal writing, although not without the noticeable influence of French salon painting. One of the bright works on historical subjects is the “Arrest of the Huguenotka Jacobin de Montebel, Countess d’Etremont”, written in 1875.

The picture was custom, and no one else ordered her master like Tsesarevich Alexander. The plot of the picture is entirely devoted to the second wife of the leader of the Gugenots Countess d’Etremont.

The whole horror of religious confrontation can be felt by looking at this picture. The heroine’s face, snatched by a ray of artificial light, is calm and proud, and the eyelids are lowered, but the inner grief about their unfortunate fate is read in her eyes, because she knows the fate of the Huguenot Protestants as no one else – they were ruthlessly exterminated, tortured and burned on the bonfires.

The figures of the guards are proud and majestic – everything in their appearance demonstrates pride in what is happening, they caught another enemy of faith and power. Everyone is unshakable in their actions and worldview.

It is as if he is reconstructing the paintings – night, dark streets, the wife of the protest leader is taken out of the black niche. Gray and brown colors convey the mood of the picture as best as possible, all the hopelessness and drama of the moment.

The cold light coming from the torch invisible to the audience only exacerbates the general character, making it possible to better examine the heroine’s unfortunate face, and playing on the armor of the guards, he demonstrates the irresistible power of power against which to stand with a gugenot.

The painting of Polenov was very liked by both the public and the customer. She traveled a lot to various exhibitions, and her creator was awarded the title of academician.