Henri Regnault: Execution without trial under the Moorish kings of Granada, 1870.
Another example of orientalism, quite the opposite of Guillaumet’s desert and yet compelling. It’s the hit of the room, even the most uninterested visitor stops in front of it. This is what academism, which I don’t mean to disparage in general, can be capable of: Every detail of the composition has been decided on with purpose. This, too, is a huge canvas, so standing in front of it you are right in the position of the fallen head, looking up at your imposing executioner.
Few is left of Regnault: Aged 27 he fell in the French-German war a year after finishing this picture.