The Filial Piety of Cleobis and Biton
attributed to FRANÇOIS-GUILLAUME MÉNAGEOT (1744-1816)
subject of the Grand Prix de Rome competition in 1764
oil on canvas
In the 5th century BC, the historian Herodotus recounted that at Argos in Greece, the twin brothers Cleobis and Biton pulled their mother Cydippe’s cart all the way to the temple where she was priestess of Hera. As they lay resting, to reward them for their act of devotion the goddess plunged them into eternal sleep.
This story was the subject set by the jury of the Grand Prix de Rome competition in 1764. This painting is a sketch for Ménageot’s finished picture, which he showed at the Salon the same year.
inv. PE 62
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ÉMILE PEYRE bequest, 1905