felix joseph barrias

Félix Joseph Barrias [French. 1822-1907]
“Les exilés de Tibère” Details 1850

Félix Joseph Barrias [French. 1822-1907]
Les exilés de Tibère 1850

The Exiles of Tiberius presents a frieze of persons whose tyrant, who reigned from 14 to 37 AD, ordered the banishment.

The strict profile of the republican senator in gowns, saluting the land which he abandons, accentuates his austerity and his moral uprightness. Bent before him, the woman veiled in black appears like a real face of pain. Like David with Les Sabines, the painter varies the expressions of the faces to show his talent.

Despite a classic restraint, the vigor of the rowers gives a certain romantic impetus to the composition, as a reminiscence of the Raft of the Medusa of Géricault. The boat is thus a symbol of the passage from life to death, a force line of nineteenth-century art, from Delacroix to Redon. As is often the case, the erudite subject refers to contemporary events, in this case the confiscation of the ideals of the Second Republic, proclaimed in 1848, by the political reaction which led to Napoleon III’s coup d'état in 1851.