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Innocence Prefers Love to Riches

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.


c. 1804


Pierre Paul Prud’hon
French, 1758-1823

About this artwork

In this allegorical painting, a personification of Innocence at center signals her preference for Love, represented as a cupid, over Riches, taking the form of a woman in lavish Grecian robes and offering a chest of golden baubles. Pierre-Paul Prud’hon complicated this straightforward parable by manipulating the figures’ postures: while Innocence embraces Love, she gazes longingly over her shoulder at Riches, inviting viewers to wonder about the finality of her decision.

Prud’hon created this preparatory sketch for a larger painting to be completed by his collaborator and friend, Constance Mayer, who was known for her portraits and allegorical scenes.


On View, Gallery 219


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Pierre Paul Prud'hon


Innocence Prefers Love to Riches


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


34.3 × 27.2 cm (13 1/2 × 10 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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