PRUD'HON, Pierre-Paul
(b. 1758, Cluny, d. 1823, Paris)

Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime

Oil on canvas, 244 x 294 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Prud'hon achieved a sensational success with this painting commissioned for the Palais de Justice, Paris (and exchanged with the City of Paris in 1826). The success was probably due mainly to the contents of the painting. Prud'hon himself supplied an account of the contents:"Under the dark veil of the night, in a wild and remote place, the greedy criminal murders his victim, snatches his gold and looks to make sure there is no sign of life to betray his fearful deed. He does not see that Nemesis, that terrible aid to justice, is pursuing him, and is about to seize him and deliver him up to its unyielding assistant."