Jean-Victor Schnetz was a French academic painter. We have not found a lor of biographical information. Schnetcz was born in Versailles, just before the Revolution (1787). We think to a Frech-Swiss family (1787). He studied in Paris under Jacques-Louis David, a giant in French art. He was active 1808-67, a very long long active artistic life, almost 60 years. He was active until his last few years. He produced historical, religious, and genre works. Schnetz lived in Rome for extended periods (1817/32). Schnetz was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1837). He was elected twice to be the Director of the French Academy in Rome (1841-46). And elected again (1853-1866). We note one painting depicting a family fleing a Tiber flood (1817). He did a painting of the fighting at the Hotel de Ville (1830). We don't think it was one of his better works, lacking the power of the famous Delacroix painting or even the Tiber flood work. Schnetz died in Paruis (1870).An Italian reader tells us, "The painting goes back to Schnetz's time Rome, but we have no further information abiout this paintuing. It depicts a peasant family from the Roman countryside fleeing from a Tiber flood. We can see a mother with a baby in a basket on her head and holding the hand of an older child. The father is carrying his old mother or mother-in-law. Actually in the 19th century there were several Tiber floods. Schnetz depicts the adults with their usual garments (the mother lifts her skirt a bit to not get wet it) and the child in just a nightshirt. However, we know that in the 19th century nightshirts were not common garments in Rome and its countryside among low incomes people, who usually slept without any clothing."
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