(b. 1699, Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, d. 1749, Rome)
Christ at the House of Simon the Phariseec. 1737
Oil on canvas, 51 x 122 cm
This picture is based on the story in the Gospel of St Luke (VII, 36-50) in which Christ was invited to dine with Simon the Pharisee. The painting is directly linked with a large composition at the Louvre in Paris, which Subleyras painted in Rome from about 1755 to 1757 for the refectory of Santa Maria Nuova, a monastery in Asti, Piedmont. This work was chiefly responsible for his fame during the eighteenth century. He made many studies prior to embarking on the picture. Even while working on it he made a number of small versions, including this painting, which should be regarded as a work in its own right. Subleyras attached great importance to the Dresden version; indeed, by presenting it to Frederick Christian of Saxony, the heir to the Elector, he pinned to the work his hopes of a position in Dresden.