“The prayer” – Félix Auguste Clément (20 May 1826, Donzère – 2 February 1888, Algiers), oil on canvas from the second half of the 19th century, signed on the lower left. The painter known for his orientalist scenes, dedicates this painting to the love of a mother for her sick child, the attention to detail is very clear, such as the light that gives three-dimensionality hitting the main subjects in great prominence on the dark background.

His first studies were at the École nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon with Jean-Claude Bonnefond. In 1848 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied with Michel Martin Drolling and François-Édouard Picot. He was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1856 for his painting of the return of the young Tobias. He remained in Rome for several years, followed by a visit to Egypt in 1862, where he painted scenes of princely activities, made decorative works for palaces and sketched monuments; some of them quite remote. Many works were made at the request of the Khedive. In 1868 he returned to France. Four years later, he was commissioned by the government to copy Andrea Mantegna’s paintings in Padua, but was forced to return due to illness. He was a professor at the École Nationale in Lyon from 1874 to 1877, then he retired. He participated in the Second Annual International Exhibition in London (1872), the Expo Vienna 1873 and the Exposition Universelle (1878). It is reported that Henri Rousseau enlisted the help of Clément in obtaining permission to copy paintings in the Louvre; privilege reserved for students of recognized institutions. He died in Algiers, where he had spent the winter trying to recover.

Period: Mid 19th century

Measurements: In frame H 140 x W 115 x D 10 / Canvas H 118 x W 90 cm