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The sons of Clovis II



Évariste Luminais


18 Oct 1822 - May 1896


This demonstration of parental discipline of the Merovingian period remains shocking more than a century after its completion. It says much for the grotes-query of nineteenth-century Salon painting, of which it is so spectacular an example, that 'The sons of Clovis II' is still a collection favourite. Alarmed by her sons' rebellion against their absent father, King Clovis, their mother - the regent Sainte Bathilde - has their tendons cut before sending them, immobilised, downstream on a barge to their fate. Though Luminais foreshadows the salvation of the malefactors in the distant shape of a Benedictine monastery, he is clearly more concerned with their present gruesome predicament. His great success with this painting in the Paris Salon of 1880 was not repeated, its cadaverous sensationalism proving a hard act to follow.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.


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Other Title

The sons of Clovis

Alternative title

Les enervés de Jumièges



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


190.7 x 275.8 cm stretcher; 218.8 x 335.0 x 8.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.l., brown oil "E. Luminais [underlined]". Not dated.


Purchased 1886

Accession number


Artist information

Évariste Luminais

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Source unknown, Paris/France, Purchased by the AGNSW in Paris 1886

Referenced in 34 publications


Dominique Bussillet, Les Énervés de Jumièges, 'Le peintre et le tableau', pg.53-99, 2007, 75 (colour illus.), 86.

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'European art in the old courts', pg. 14-23, Sydney, 1984, 19.

Patricia Crawford, History and legend in some selected paintings at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1980, 12 (illus.).

Du Seigneur, L'Art et l'artistes au Salon de 1880, 1880.

L. Enault., Paris Salon, Article written, Paris, 1890.

Renée Free, AGNSW Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 108.

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 41.

Samuel Carter Hall (Editor), The Art Journal, London, 1880, 246.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 41 (colour illus.).

E. Michel., Revue des Deux Mondes, Article, 1880.

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Art Gallery of New South Wales: exhibition of continental art, Sydney, 1940. 40

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street] and Art Gallery of South Australia, Catalogue of the second interchange loan collections of oil paintings and watercolour drawings: exhibited in the Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide Galleries April, 1896, Sydney, 1896. 1

Paris Salon, 1880 Catalogue illustré du Salon, 1880, 34 (illus.). 2390, as 'Les enerves de Jumieges'

Various, The Pencil Orchids Second Anthology, New South Wales, 1995, cover (illus.).

Anna Waldmann, Renée Free and Nicholas Draffin, Salon and Académie: the charm of tradition: a catalogue of nineteenth-century European salon works, Sydney, 1984, (illus.). no catalogue numbers

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Graphic, 13 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Sydney daily telegraph, Sydney, 25 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Saturday Review, 04 Dec 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Society, 18 Dec 1880.

Author Unknown, Art Criticism on Luminais's Picture, "Les Enervés de Jumièges" Exhibited at the Paris Salon, 1880; French Gallery, London 1881; Munich International Exhibition, 1883.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Daily News, 02 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Morning Advertiser, 02 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, Sydney, 13 May 1972.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Morning Post, 01 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Standard, 01 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Globe, 01 Nov 1880.

Art and Australia, 'Victorian favourites: a conversation - Elwyn Lynn and Lloyd Rees', pg. 49-56, Sydney, Spring 1984, 49.

Author Unknown, Le Petit Francais illustre, cover (illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Daily Chronicle, 02 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Illustrated London News, London, 06 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Athenaeum, London, 06 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Academy, 06 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Architect, 06 Nov 1880.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Times, 10 Nov 1880.