Tony Robert-Fleury in his studio.
His first picture at the Salon, in 1866, was a large historical canvas, titled Varsovie, Scene de l'Insurrection polonaise, recalling the events of April 8, 1861 in Warsaw, when Russian troops quenched riots by force. In the following year, his "Old Women in the Place Navone, Rome" was bought for the Luxembourg Museum. In 1870, he painted a canvas of Le Dernier Jour de Corinthe (Last Day of Corinth), which obliquely commented on the situation of the besieged Paris, by describing the last day before the Roman legions looted and burned the ancient GreeK city. This painting won him the Medaille d'Honneur, and was hung in the Luxembourg Palace. In 1880, he painted a ceiling for the Luxembourg, representing "The Glorification of French Sculpture."
Robert-Fleury painted a Pinel a la Salpêtrière (1876), which depicts the famed Father of Modern Psychiatry among the inmates of the asylum. Philippe Pinel in 1795, had been named chief doctor at the asylum, he had instituted more charitable and rational treatments, without chains.
In 1875, Robert-Fleury painted a Charlotte Corday at Caen, which shows the woman coming to the passionate conclusion that Marat needed to be murdered. In 1882 he painted Vauban donnant le plan des fortifications de Belfort where the celebrated engineer is represented in Louis XIV costume reviewing maps and designs, while in the background laborers engage on building.
Tony Robert-Fleury became president of the Société des artistes français in succession to Bouguereau. He acquired a great reputation for his historical compositions and portraits; and from his atelier have issued a great number of the best-known painters of the 20th century.
Pinel at the Salpêtrière. Pinel orders removal of chains from patients at Paris Asylum for insane women.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Auber, Eugene (1894). Tony Robert-Fleury, The Art Journal, Volume 56.. London: The Art Union. p. 321-325.