Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros
Arrowood 1998-99 after Bouguereau 1851
Oil on Canvas on Panel 44” x 30”
Henri Regnault ( French, 1843-1871 ): Regnault’s original painting, measuring more than ten feet square, is on permanent display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The painting depicts Achilles’ chariot driver, Automedon, struggling to control Xanthos and Balios. The horses, sensing that their master will be killed, resist being harnessed to the chariot that will carry Achilles into his final, fatal battle.
Regnault , a student in Rome, was only 25 when he painted this heroic piece. It was displayed at the Paris Salon, a notable honor for the young artist. Two years later, at the age of twenty-seven, Henri Regnault’s bright future ended in Paris during the final hour of the Franco-Prussian War…But that’s another story…
With the acceptance of Henri Regnault’s life-size original of “Automedon with the Horses of Achilles” at the Paris Salon, Regnault seemed destined for success; however, it may have been youthful exuberance that ended his life and promising career…As the final minutes of the Franco-Prussian war approached, Henri stood ready to fire the last shot…Unfortunately, it was a Prussian soldier who succeeded, and Henri Regnault died at the age of twenty-seven.