barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Etienne Aubry (1745-1781)

Paternal Love

Paris, exhibited 1775

Oil on canvas

78.7 x 101.6 cm


Three generations of a family gather around a humble hearth, forming an image of domestic happiness in a modest setting. 

When Aubry exhibited the work in 1775 it was praised for its naturalism – the depiction of a range of objects with great truth – but also for its positive influence as a ‘moral genre’.  A domestic scene of a loving husband who provides for his wife and three strapping sons and supports his widowed father, it was argued, offers a striking lesson for the dissolute upper classes.


Purchased 1962 (No.62.10)