VAFFLARD, Pierre-Auguste
(b. 1777, Paris, d. 1837, Paris)

Young Holding his Dead Daughter in his Arms

Oil on canvas, 238 x 193 cm
Musée Municipal, Angoulême

An extraordinary scene of love and death was exhibited by Pierre-Auguste Vafflard at the Salon in 1804. Here it is paternal love that drives the poet Edward Young to struggle with the body of his dead daughter by the cold light of the moon. This episode is now known to be based on a factual clash of faiths - Young's removal of his eighteen-year-old daughter, who had died on a visit to Lyon, to the city's Swiss cemetery, after the girl, as a Protestant, had been denied burial in the Catholic one.