GRANET, François-Marius
(b. 1775, Aix-en-Provence, d. 1849, Aix-en-Provence)

Crypt of San Martino ai Monti, Rome

Oil on canvas, 126 x 159 cm
Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Among the first of a number of artists to take a pictorial interest in Roman ritual, rather than in the traditional Christian iconography, was the young Provençal Granet, who while studying in Rome began painting church interiors with officiating clergy. This new genre anticipated the medievalism of his Troubadour compatriots and found a ready market. His haunting Crypt of San Martino ai Monti, a view of the vaults which were once part of the ancient Baths of Trajan, includes a female corpse in its white shroud, while a hooded priest and his acolyte prepare for the committal.