About this artwork
The second half of the 1700s was an age of great sentiment; tears flowed profusely in art and literature. Jean-Baptiste Greuze in particular capitalized on this cult of feeling.
The Paternal Blessing was an illustration for a pictorial narrative by Greuze called Bazile and Thibault, or The Two Educations. It told the story of two brothers, one good and one bad. Reflecting theories of nature versus nurture espoused by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), Bazile became a good man because he had been breast-fed as an infant at home, while Thibault became a bad man because he had been sent away to a wet nurse. Here, Bazile receives his father’s blessing before setting out on his own.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Jean Baptiste Greuze
- The Paternal Blessing, or The Departure of Basile
- Pen and brown ink, brush and black ink, gray wash and graphite, with traces of scraping, on tan laid paper, laid down on tan wove board
- 373 × 508 mm
- Gift of Mrs. Leigh B. Block