A replica of a much larger picture (Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts) exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824. Joan of Arc (1412–1431) was burned as a heretic at Rouen on 30 May 1431 after five months of interrogation. She had raised the siege of Orléans by the English and conducted Charles VII to his coronation at Rheims. Although Delaroche shows Henry Beaufort, Cardinal of Winchester (d.1447), threatening Joan with eternal damnation, she was actually interrogated by Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, and there is no evidence that an encounter with Beaufort ever took place. By showing Beaufort pointing down to Hell to threaten Joan with eternal damnation, Delaroche no doubt recalled the terrible irony that on his own deathbed Beaufort refused to lift his hand to acknowledge his hope of ‘Heaven’s bliss’ ('Henry VI', Part II, III, iii).
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection