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ANNE-LOUIS GIRODET

THE FUNERAL OF ATALA, CA. 1811

About the Artwork

Girodet based this painting on a popular French novel by Chateaubriand that loosely retells the story of Romeo and Juliet in a New World setting. Here we see Chactas, a Natchez Indian, mourning his beloved Atala, a half Native American, half European maiden, who has committed suicide to keep from breaking the vow of chastity she had made to her dying mother. A larger version of this painting created a popular sensation when it was exhibited in Paris in 1811.

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