The Old Man and Death

Hippolyt Soběslav Pinkas

Hippolyt Soběslav Pinkas - The Old Man and Death
Because of its "gross realism", the commission of the Paris Salon refused in 1863 Pinkas's painting The Old Man and Death, inspired by Millet's version of La Fontaine's fable. Pinkas provided the figure of Death, in Millet's picture holding a sandglass, with a soldier's attributes, a gun and military cap. Moreover, the painting broached a highly topical issue - the devastation of forests in the vicinity of Paris. Pinkas exhibited the painting at the first Salon des Refusés, in Jan Neruda's words "Napoleon's new invention to submit rejected works to the judgement of a broader public", together with Manet, Pissarro, Whistler and a number of other painters. A year later he presented the picture in Prague and then gave to the association Umělecká beseda. In a contemporaneous review Karel Purkyně wrote: "This kind of painting seems odd to our public and does not easily captivate... yet people willl respectfully contemplate... the genuine truthfulness of its colour tones...".
measurements: height 100,5 cm
width 60 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 2328
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism