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Scènes de genre

La Vie en Alsace
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine La mère de l'artiste priant devant le corps de sa fille Madeleine © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine La mère de l'artiste priant devant le corps de sa fille Madeleine, détail 1 © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine La mère de l'artiste priant devant le corps de sa fille Madeleine, détail 2 © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine La mère de l'artiste priant devant le corps de sa fille Madeleine, détail 3 © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine
Painting

The artist’s mother praying before the body of her daughter Madeleine

Henner had five brothers and sisters, including Madeleine, painted here on her deathbed. His early paintings are characterised by a realism that remained a constant in his work. In 1879, he said to the art historian, Emile Durand-Gréville: “It was conscientious painting.” The painter was a realist by temperament and probably also because of the influence German painting, particularly Hans Holbein.

This painting is the first example of the representation of death, a theme that was to become recurrent in his work, eventually taking on a religious character with the inclusion of the figure of Christ.

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