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Georges Clairin - Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt
Armand Point - Peacock Casket
Camille Alaphilippe - Woman with Monkey
Aristide  Maillol - Seated female nude with her left hand on her head. Study for The Mediterranean
Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse - The Struggle for Life vase
Léon  Lhermitte - Les Halles
Fernand Pelez - The Death of Emperor Commodus
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Ambroise Vollard in a Red Scarf
Jean Carriès - My Portrait
Emile Gallé - Two-handled vase
Georges-Henri Lemaire - Silence or Immortality
Charles-Alexandre Giron - Woman wearing gloves, also known as The Parisienne
Paul Sérusier - Tricoteuse au bas rose
Pierre-Auguste  Renoir - Portrait of Madame de Bonnières
Berthe Morisot - Jeune fille en décolleté - La fleur aux cheveux
Pierre Bonnard - Conversation à Arcachon
Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat - Dish : The judgment of Paris
Joseph-Marius Avy  - Bal blanc
Marie Constantine Bashkirtseff - Parisienne, Portrait of Irma
Maurice Denis - Female bathers at Perros-Guirec
Fernand Pelez - La Vachalcade
Alfred Sisley - The Church at Moret (Evening)
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen - Ball on the 14th of July
Edmond  Aman-Jean - Miss Ella Carmichaël
Raoul Larche - Buste d'enfant (portrait présumé de Marcel Lerolle)

The Death of Emperor Commodus

Fernand
Pelez
Paris, 1848 - Paris, 1913
1879
Oil on canvas glued on cardboard
58 x 37,5 cm

This work is an exemplary illustration of a single subject depicted in a variety of formats, a custom inherited from the academic tradition.
A very complete sketch or replica aimed at the private market, The Death of Emperor Commodus is a faithful copy of the large painting exhibited at the Salon in 1879. The evocation of the tragic but trivial end of the Emperor, a despot assassinated on the orders of his mistress Marcia, can be interpreted in the context of the consolidation of the Republican regime, and as a denunciation of the impasses of the Roman autocracy. This terrible yet edifying subject was rewarded at the Salon with a 2nd class medal and was purchased by the State (for Béziers Museum).

When painting a small format replica, Pelez was keen to introduce a number of minute variations. In another version in a very similar format (H. 61 x W. 40 cm), which went on sale to the public in Drouot in 1992, Marcia’s henchman is black.

The Death of Emperor Commodus combined a Pompeian décor in the neo-Greek style and a fight scene treated in a more realistic way. Pelez’s contemporaries did not fail to point out this irruption of realism in the treatment of the figures, and found it amusing that the model for the strangler in charge of executing Commodus was a former fairground wrestler who was well-known in the studios of Montmartre.

Marks Inscriptions Hall-marks: 
Signed and dated, bottom left : "F.PELEZ [1879]"
Inventory number: 
PPP04975
Inventory number : PPP04975
Acquisition details : Purchase, 2009
This work is not currently on display
Paris 1900
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