Lot 4
  • 4

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
  • Saint John Chrysostom Exiled by the Empress Eudoxia
  • signed Benj-Constant (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 38 5/8 by 31 1/8 in.
  • 98 by 79 cm


Sale: Sotheby's, New York, June 4, 1975, lot 197, illustrated (as The Empress Theodora Receiving an Ambassador)
Schweitzer Galleries, New York
Private collection, Japan
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Nathalie Bondil, ed., Benjamin-Constant, Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, exh. cat., Musée des Augustins, Toulouse; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2014, pp. 60, 372, no. 47, illustrated p. 57

Catalogue Note

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant is well known for paintings of powerful women of antiquity, biblical history, and the early Middle Ages. In the present work, imposingly enthroned is Eudoxia, considered the most influential and strong-willed woman of her time. In marrying Emperor Arcadius, she became the Empress of the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century. The kneeling, pious figure is Saint John Chrysostom (the “golden-mouthed”), whom the Archbishop of Constantinople regarded as one of the most eloquent orators of his day. He openly criticized the morals and material excesses of the Empress and her imperial court, which would lead to his exile. The setting of the present work was inspired by the Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano in Rome, which serves as an opulent background but was in actuality built long after Eudoxia’s rule.