Joan of Arc Kneeling before the Dauphin
(Gillot Saint-Evre)


Joan of Arc, the young fifteenth-century peasant girl who led the French army to victory against the English, became, in the nineteenth century, a symbol of the triumph of the French crown. The same elements of her story (religious fervor and monarchism) which caused Joan to be reviled during the Revolutionary period, catapulted her to heroic status during the Restoration. Schiller contributed greatly to the rise of Joanas a Romantic heroine (as he had done with Mary Stuart ) with his play Die Jungfrau von Orléans (1801). After 1815 several new publications and plays appeared on Joan of Arc. She was the subject of seventeen Salon compositions during the Restoration.[1]

Joan was born in the village of Domrémy on the frontier between the territories still under the control of the French King and those ruled by England’s Burgundian allies. She had heard the voices of Saints commanding her to journey to the court of the Dauphin to offer her services as leader of the resistance to the English invaders. The courtiers, sceptical of her claims, had one of them disguise himself as the Dauphin while the latter hid himself in the throng. To the astonishment of all, Joan realized immediately that she had been deceived and, ignoring the substitute, threw herself before the real Dauphin. This impressive moment is documented in Gillot Saint-Evre’s painting exhibited at the 1833 Salon, a sketch for which is illustrated here (cat. 48 fig. 83).


[1] See Norman D. Ziff, “Jeanne d’Arc and French Restoration Art,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Jan. 1979, pp. 37ff.

7 3/8 x 10 1/8 inches (18.7 x 25.7 cm.)
Oil on board

Provenance: New York, Private Collection. Related work: Sketch for painting, Exhibited, Paris, Salon, 1833 (no. 2120); ; New Orleans Museum of Art, New York Stair Sainty Matthiesen, Cincinnati Taft Museum of Art, Romance and Chivalry: Literature and History reflected in early nineteenth century painting, June 1996 – February 1997, no 48, pp. 120, illus fig. 83.

Where is It?
Stair Sainty matthiesen Inc., NY
Historical Period
Neoclassicism - 1780-1820 & Romanticism - 1810-1870
Genre or Daily Life
Price band
$5,000 - $50,000