Literature & Paintings

Sophocles Revisited: The Plague of Thebes by Charles François Jalabert

the plague of thebes charles jalabert

The Plague of Thebes (Oil on Canvas) by Charles François Jalabert (1819-1901) alludes to the Athenian Tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Plague strikes Thebes due to corruption caused by the murderer of Laius, the former king of the city. Oedipus, the current ruler, vows to put an end to this only to find out that he is the cause of the plague. He has killed his father, married his mother, and brought curse on his people.

Jalabert rose to fame in the latter half of the 19th century and attended the salon of Madame Sabatier. His other important works include Oedipus and Antigone, for which he won wide acclaim. Some selected paintings of Jalabert, including The Plague of Thebes, are on display at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes.

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