Artibus et Historiae no. 29 (XV)1994, ISSN 0391-9064
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ANNE CHARLOTTE STELAND - Vestals in the Work of Jean Raoux around 1730, Inspired by Scientific Literature and the "Opera-Ballet"
The basis for the study is the painting Two Vestals (1730) by Jean Raoux, currently in the Herzog-Anton-UIrich-Museum in Brunswick. The vestals provide here an interesting stimulus for the anałysis of the interrelation between literature, opera, and painting, not only from the art-historical perspective, but also from the point of view of the social and human sciences in the first half of the Eighteenth Century in France. The painting by Jean Raoux turns out to be more than just a simple "portrait historie", as which it has been regarded up to now. Instead, it appears to have been inspired by two events: 1) the publication Histoire des Vesta/es, avec un traite de luxe des dames romaines by Abbe Augustin Nadal (Paris 1725), and 2) Les elemens, an "Opera-Ballet" by the poet Pierre-Charles Roy. Both events awakened great interest for the subject of vestals within the French society of that time.