Skip to main content

After Pierre Subleyras, A Male Académie ('The Barque of Charon')

Key facts
Full title A Male Académie ('The Barque of Charon')
Artist After Pierre Subleyras
Artist dates 1699 - 1749
Date made about 1770
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 134.6 × 83.8 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Frederick L. Lucas, 1925
Inventory number NG4133
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Male Académie ('The Barque of Charon')
After Pierre Subleyras

This is a copy after Pierre Subleyras’s Charon ferrying the Souls of the Dead over the River Styx (Louvre, Paris), which was probably painted around 1735. The date of this copy is unknown, but it must have been made before the early nineteenth century, when the canvas was lined, and probably dates from several decades earlier.

In Greek mythology, Charon was the boatman of the underworld who ferried the souls of the dead across the River Styx to Hades. The shrouded figures at the feet of the figure here are the spirits of the dead. Subleyras’s depiction of Charon is unusual, as he is shown as a relatively young man, who is also nude, unlike literary descriptions of him.

Both Subleyras’s painting and this copy belong to the tradition of the académie. This was the academic study of the male nude in various poses, often with one foot or knee resting on a ledge and the opposite arm raised, typically holding a pole or rope for support.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo