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.
Curator insights - European galleries The sons of Clovis II
The sons of Clovis
Les enervés de Jumièges
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.
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Paris Salon, 1880, Paris Salon, Paris, 1880–1880
Unknown, French Gallery 1881, Messrs Wallis & Sons, French Gallery, London, London, 1881–1881
Munich International Exhibition, 1883, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1883–1883
The second interchange loan collections:
Exhibition of continental art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Nov 1940–Dec 1940
Salon and Academie: the charm of tradition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1984–May 1985
Source unknown, Paris/France, Purchased by the AGNSW in Paris 1886
Referenced in 36 publications
Tom Carment, Look, 'The art that made me', Sydney, Sep 2015, pp 14–16: p 15.
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', Sydney, 1988, pp 36–56: p 41.
Peter Kingston, Look, 'The art that made me', Sydney, Aug 2016, pp 12–13: p 13.
E. Michel., Revue des Deux Mondes, Article, 1880.
Various, The Pencil Orchids Second Anthology, New South Wales, 1995, cover (illus.).
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Morning Advertiser, 02 Nov 1880.
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.
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.
Author Unknown, Le Petit Francais illustre, cover (illus.).
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. cat.no. 1
National Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Art Gallery of New South Wales: exhibition of continental art, Sydney, 1940. cat.no. 40
Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, Sydney, 13 May 1972.
Patricia Crawford, History and legend in some selected paintings at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1980, 12 (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
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Sydney, 1999, col illus p 41.
Unknown, Les Énervés de Jumièges, 'Le peintre et le tableau', 2007, pp 53–99: p 86, col illus p 75.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Society, 18 Dec 1880.
Art and Australia, 'Victorian favourites: a conversation - Elwyn Lynn and Lloyd Rees', pg. 49-56, Sydney, Spring 1984, 49.
Unknown (Editor), The Art Journal, London, 1880, 246.
Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'European art in the old courts', pg. 14-23, Sydney, 1984, 19.
Unknown, L'Art et l'artistes au Salon de 1880, 1880.
Unknown, 1880 Catalogue illustré du Salon, 1880, 34 (illus.). cat.no. 2390, as 'Les enerves de Jumieges'
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Globe, 01 Nov 1880.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Standard, 01 Nov 1880.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Morning Post, 01 Nov 1880.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Daily News, 02 Nov 1880.