Jean-Léon Gérôme  

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-[[Image:Big Pool of Bursa by Jean Leon Gerome.jpg|thumb|200px|''[[Grand bath at Bursa]]'' ([[1885]]) by [[Jean-Léon Gérôme]]]]+[[Image:Jean-Leon Gerome Pollice Verso.jpg|thumb|left|200px|''[[Pollice Verso (Gérôme)|Pollice Verso]]'' (1872) by Jean-Léon Gérôme]]
-[[Image:Jean-Leon Gerome Pollice Verso.jpg|thumb|right|200px|''[[Pollice Verso]]'' by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1872, is the immediate source of the "[[thumbs down]]" [[gesture]] in [[popular culture]]. It is owned by [[Phoenix Art Museum]].]]+ 
{{Template}} {{Template}}
-'''Jean-Léon Gérôme''' ([[May 11]], [[1824]] [[January 10]], [[1904]]) was a [[French academic painter]] and [[sculpture|sculptor]] who resisted the [[counter-revolutionary]] movements of [[Impressionism]] begun by [[Monet]] and [[Manet]], continuing the development and conservation of French [[neo-classicism]]. He produced many works in a [[historical]], [[Orientalism|Orientalist]] style.+ 
 +'''Jean-Léon Gérôme''' (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a [[French academic painter]] and [[sculpture|sculptor]] who resisted the [[modern art]] movements of [[Impressionism]] begun by [[Monet]] and [[Manet]], continuing the development and conservation of French [[neo-classicism]]. The range of his oeuvre included [[historical painting]], [[Greek mythology]], [[Orientalism]], portraits and other subjects, bringing the [[Academic painting]] tradition to an artistic climax. His work has been criticized in "[[Does Gerome Belong with Goya and Monet?]]" (1980) by art critic [[Hilton Kramer]].
 + 
==Life== ==Life==
-Born at [[Vesoul]] ([[Haute-Saône]]), he went to [[Paris]] in 1840 where he studied under [[Hippolyte Delaroche|Paul Delaroche]], whom he accompanied to [[Italy]] (1844-1845). On his return he followed, like many other students of Delaroche, into the atelier of [[Charles Gleyre]], and in turn exhibited ''The Cock-fight'', which gained him a third-class medal in the [[Paris Salon|Salon]] of 1847. This work was seen as the epitomy of the [[Neo-Grec]] movement that had formed out of Gleyre's studio, and was championed by the French critic [[Theophile Gautier]].''The Virgin with Christ'' and ''St John and Anacreon'', ''Bacchus and Cupid'' took a second-class medal in 1848. He exhibited ''Bacchus and Love, Drunk'', a ''Greek Interior'' and ''Souvenir d'Italie'', in 1851; ''Paestum'' (1852); and ''An Idyll'' (1853). 
-In 1854 Gérôme made a journey to [[Turkey]] and the shores of the [[Danube]], and in 1857 visited [[Egypt]]. To the [[Exposition Universelle (1855)|exhibition of 1855]] he contributed a ''Pifferaro'', a ''Shepherd'', ''A Russian Concert'' and a large historical canvas, ''The Age of Augustus'' and the ''Birth of Christ''. The last was somewhat confused in effect, but in recognition of its consummate ability the State purchased it.+Jean-Léon Gérôme was born at [[Vesoul]] ([[Haute-Saône]]). He went to Paris in 1840 where he studied under [[Hippolyte Delaroche|Paul Delaroche]], whom he accompanied to Italy (1843–1844). He visited [[Florence]], Rome, the [[St. Peter's Basilica|Vatican]] and [[Pompeii]], but he was more attracted to the world of nature. Taken by a fever, he was forced to return to Paris in 1844. On his return he followed, like many other students of Delaroche, into the atelier of [[Charles Gleyre]] and studied there for a brief time. He then attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1846 he tried to enter the prestigious [[Prix de Rome]], but failed in the final stage because his figure drawing was inadequate.
-Gérôme's reputation was greatly enhanced at the Salon of 1857 by a collection of works of a more popular kind: the ''Duel: after a Masquerade'', ''Egyptian Recruits crossing the Desert'', ''Memnon and Sesostris'' and ''Camels Watering'', the drawing of which was criticized by [[Edmond François Valentin About|Edmond About]].+He tried to improve his skills by painting ''The Cockfight'' (1846), an academic exercise depicting a nude young man and a lightly draped girl with two fighting cocks and in the background the Bay of [[Naples]]. He sent this painting to the [[Paris Salon|Salon]] of 1847, where it gained him a third-class medal. This work was seen as the epitome of the [[Neo-Grec]] movement that had formed out of Gleyre's studio (such as [[Henri-Pierre Picou]] (1824–1895) and [[Jean-Louis Hamon]]), and was championed by the influential French critic [[Théophile Gautier]].
-In ''Caesar'' (1859) Gérôme tried to return to a severer class of work, but the picture failed to interest the public. ''Phryne before the Areopagus'', ''Le Roi Candaule'' and ''Socrates finding Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia'' (1861) gave rise to some scandal by reason of the subjects selected by the painter, and brought down on him the bitter attacks of [[Paul Bins, comte de Saint Victor|Paul de Saint-Victor]] and [[Maxime Du Camp]]. At the same Salon he exhibited the ''Egyptian chopping Straw'', and ''[[Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn|Rembrandt]] biting an Etching'', two very minutely finished works.+Gérôme abandoned his dream of winning the Prix de Rome and took advantage of his sudden success. His paintings ''The Virgin, the Infant Jesus and St John'' (private collection) and ''Anacreon, Bacchus and Cupid'' (Musée des Augustins, [[Toulouse]], France) took a second-class medal in 1848. In 1849 he produced the paintings ''Michelangelo'' (also called ''In his studio'') (now in private collection) and ''A portrait of a Lady'' ([[Musée Ingres]], [[Montauban]]).
-Gérôme was elected a member of the [[Institut de France]] in 1865.+In 1851 he decorated a vase, later offered by Emperor [[Napoleon III of France]] to [[Albert, Prince Consort|Prince Albert]], now part of the Royal Collection at [[St. James's Palace]], London. He exhibited ''Bacchus and Love, Drunk'', a ''Greek Interior'' and ''Souvenir d'Italie'', in 1851; ''Paestum'' (1852); and ''An Idyll'' (1853).
 + 
 +In 1852 Gérôme received a commission by Alfred Emilien Comte de Nieuwerkerke, ''Surintendant des Beaux-Arts'' to the court of Napoleon III, for the painting of a large historical canvas, the ''Age of Augustus'' [http://hoocher.com/Jean_Leon_Gerome/jean_leon_gerome.htm image of the painting]. In this canvas he combines the birth of Christ with conquered nations paying homage to Augustus. Thanks to a considerable down payment, he was able to travel in 1853 to Constantinople, together with the actor [[François Jules Edmond Got|Edmond Got]]. This would be the first of several travels to the East : in 1854 he made another journey to [[Turkey]] and the shores of the [[Danube]], where he was present at a concert of Russian conscripts, making music under the threat of a lash.
 + 
 +In 1854 he completed another important commission of decorating the Chapel of St. Jerome in the [[Saint-Séverin (Paris)|church of St. Séverin]] in Paris. His ''Last communion of St. Jerome'' in this chapel reflects the influence of the school of Ingres on his religious works.
 + 
 +To the [[Exposition Universelle (1855)|exhibition of 1855]] he contributed a ''Pifferaro'', a ''Shepherd'', ''A Russian Concert'', ''The Age of Augustus'' and ''Birth of Christ''. The last was somewhat confused in effect, but in recognition of its consummate rendering the State purchased it. However the modest painting, ''A Russian Concert'' (also called ''Recreation in the Camp'') was more appreciated than his huge canvases.
 + 
 +In 1856 he visited [[Egypt]] for the first time. This would herald the start of many orientalist paintings depicting Arab religion, genre scenes and North African landscapes.
 + 
 +Gérôme's reputation was greatly enhanced at the Salon of 1857 by a collection of works of a more popular kind: the ''Duel: after the Masked Ball'' ([[Château de Chantilly|Musée Condé]], [[Chantilly, Oise|Chantilly]]), ''Egyptian Recruits crossing the Desert'', ''Memnon and Sesostris'' and ''Camels Watering'', the drawing of which was criticized by [[Edmond François Valentin About|Edmond About]].
 + 
 +In 1858 he helped to decorate the Paris house of Prince [[Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte]] in the Pompeian style. The prince had bought his ''Greek Interior'' (1850), a depiction of a brothel also in the Pompeian manner.
 + 
 +In ''Caesar'' (1859) Gérôme tried to return to a more severe class of work, the painting of Classical subjects, but the picture failed to interest the public. ''Phryne before the Areopagus'', ''King Candaules'' and ''Socrates finding Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia'' (1861) gave rise to some scandal by reason of the subjects selected by the painter, and brought down on him the bitter attacks of [[Paul Bins, comte de Saint Victor|Paul de Saint-Victor]] and [[Maxime Du Camp]]. At the same Salon he exhibited the ''Egyptian Chopping Straw'', and ''[[Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn|Rembrandt]] Biting an Etching'', two very minutely finished works.
 + 
 +He married Marie Goupil (1842–1912), the daughter of the international art dealer [[Goupil & Cie|Adolphe Goupil]]. They had four daughters and one son. Upon his marriage he moved to a house in the Rue de Bruxelles, close to the music hall [[Folies Bergère]]. He expanded it into a grand house with stables with a sculpture studio below and a painting studio on the top floor.
 + 
 +Gérôme was elected, on his fifth attempt, a member of the [[Institut de France]] in 1865. Already a knight in the [[Légion d'honneur]], he was promoted to an officer in 1867. In 1869 he was elected an honorary member of the British [[Royal Academy]]. The King of Prussia [[William I, German Emperor|Wilhelm I]] awarded him the Grand [[Order of the Red Eagle]], Third Class. His fame had become such that he was invited, along with the most eminent French artists, to the opening of the [[Suez Canal]] in 1869.
 + 
 +The theme of his ''Death of Caesar'' (1867) was repeated in his historical canvas ''Death of Marshall Ney'', that was exhibited at the Salon of 1867, despite official pressure to withdraw it as it raised painful memories. He returned successfully to the Salon in 1874 with his painting ''Eminence grise'' ([[Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]]). In 1896 he painted ''[[Truth Rising from her Well]]'', an attempt to describe the transparency of an illusion. He therefore welcomed the rise of photography as an alternative to his photographic painting. In 1902 he said "Thanks to photography, Truth has as last left her well".
 + 
 +Jean-Léon Gérôme died in his atelier on 10 January 1904. He was found in front of a portrait of [[Rembrandt]] and close to his own painting "The Truth". At his own request, he was given a simple burial service without flowers. But the Requiem Mass given in his memory was attended by a former president of the Republic, most prominent politicians, and many painters and writers. He was buried in the [[Cimetière de Montmartre|Montmartre Cemetery]] in front of the statue ''Sorrow'' that he had cast for his son Jean who had died in 1891.
 + 
 +He was the father-in-law of the painter [[Aimé Morot]].
 +== Influence ==
 +In 1853 Gérôme moved to the ''Boîte à Thé'', a group of studios in the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris. This would become a meeting place for other artists, writers and actors. [[George Sand]] entertained in the small theatre of the studio the great artists of her time such as the composers [[Hector Berlioz]], [[Johannes Brahms]] and [[Gioachino Rossini]] and the novelists [[Théophile Gautier]] and [[Ivan Turgenev]].
 + 
 +He started an independent atelier at his house in the ''Rue de Bruxelles'' between 1860 and 1862.
 + 
 +He was appointed as one of the three professors at the ''Ecole des Beaux-Arts''. He started with sixteen students, most who had come over from his own studio. His influence became extensive and he was a regular guest of Empress [[Eugénie de Montijo|Eugénie]] at the Imperial Court in [[Compiègne]].
 + 
 +When he started to protest and show a public hostility to "decadent fashion" of [[Impressionism]], his influence started to wane and he became unfashionable. But after the exhibition of [[Manet]] in the Ecole in 1884, he eventually admitted that "it was not so bad as I thought".
-Jean-Léon Gérôme died in 1904 and was buried in the [[Cimetière de Montmartre|Montmartre Cemetery]]. He was the father-in-law of the painter [[Aimé Morot]]. 
==Selected works== ==Selected works==
Line 22: Line 54:
* ''Turkish Prisoner and Turkish Butcher'' (1863) * ''Turkish Prisoner and Turkish Butcher'' (1863)
* ''Prayer'' (1865) * ''Prayer'' (1865)
-* ''The Slave Market'' (1867)+* ''[[The Slave Market]]'' (1867)
* ''Excursion of the Harem'' (1869) * ''Excursion of the Harem'' (1869)
* ''[[Louis XIV of France|Louis XIV]] and [[Molière]]'' (1863) – Historical theme * ''[[Louis XIV of France|Louis XIV]] and [[Molière]]'' (1863) – Historical theme
Line 29: Line 61:
===Sculpture=== ===Sculpture===
-Gérôme was also successful as a [[sculpture|sculptor]]; he executed, among other works; ''Omphale'' (1887), and the statue of the [[Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale|duc d'Aumale]] which stands in front of the [[château of Chantilly]] (1899). His ''Bellona'' (1892), in ivory, metal, and precious stones, which was also exhibited in the [[Royal Academy of London]], attracted great attention. The artist then began an interesting series of Conquerors, wrought in gold, silver and gems ''Bonaparte entering Cairo'' (1897); ''Tamerlane'' (1898); and ''Frederick the Great'' (1899).+Gérôme was also successful as a [[sculpture|sculptor]]. His first work was a large bronze statue of a gladiator holding his foot on his victim, shown to the public at the Exposition Universelle of 1878. This bronze was based on the main theme of his painting ''Pollice verso'' (1872). The same year he exhibited a marble statue at the Salon of 1878, based on his early painting ''[[Anacreon]], [[Dionysus|Bacchus]] and [[Cupid]]'' (1848).
 + 
 +Aware of contemporary experiments of tinting marble (such as by [[John Gibson (sculptor)|John Gibson]]) he produced ''Dancer with Three Masks'' (Musée des Beaux-Arts, ''Caen'' ), combining movement with colour (exhibited in 1902). His tinted group ''Pygmalion and Galatea'' provided his inspiration for several paintings in which he depicted himself as the sculptor who could turn marble into flesh; one example is ''Pygmalion and Galatea'' (1890) ([[Metropolitan Museum]], New York).
 + 
 +Among his other works are ''[[Omphale]]'' (1887), and the statue of the [[Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale|duc d'Aumale]] which stands in front of the [[château of Chantilly]] (1899).
 + 
 +He started experimenting with mixed ingredients, using for his statues tinted marble, bronze and ivory, inlaid with precious stones and paste. His ''Dancer'' was exhibited in 1891.
 +His lifesize statue ''Bellona'' (1892), in ivory, bronze, and gemstones, attracted great attention at the exhibition in the [[Royal Academy of London]].
 + 
 +The artist then began a series of Conquerors, wrought in gold, silver and gems: ''Bonaparte entering Cairo'' (1897); ''Tamerlane'' (1898); and ''Frederick the Great'' (1899).
==Pupils== ==Pupils==
Line 65: Line 106:
== List of works == == List of works ==
-*[[Pollice verso]]{{GFDL}}+*[[Phryne before the Areopagus]] (1861)
 +*[[Grand bath at Bursa]] (1885)
 +*[[Pollice verso]]
 +*[[Purchase of a Slave]][http://www.jahsonic.com/Slave2.jpg]
 +*[[Diogenes]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_-_Diogenes.jpg]
 +*[[Cleopatra and Caesar]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleopatra_and_Caesar_by_Jean-Leon-Gerome.jpg] (1866)
 +*[[Bathseba]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_Bethseba.jpg]
 +*[[Death of Caesar]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_Death_of_Caesar.jpg]
 +*[[Femmes aux bains]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_Femmes_au_bain.jpg]
 +*[[The Snake Charmer]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_Snake_Charmer.jpg]
 +*[[Solomon's Wall, Jerusalem]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerome_wall.jpg]
 +*[[Cave Canem]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_Cave_Canem.jpg]
 +*[[Greek Interior, Le Gynécée]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JeanLeonGeromeLeGyn%C3%A9c%C3%A9e.jpg]
 +*[[King Candaules]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_King_Candaules.jpg]
 +*[[Painting Breathes Life into Sculpture]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_Painting_Breathes_Life_into_Sculpture_v1.jpg]
 +*[[Quaerens Quem Devoret]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_Quaerens_Quem_Devoret.jpg]
 +*[[The Slave Market]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Jean-L%C3%A9on_The_Slave_Market.jpg]
 +*[[Selling Slaves in Rome]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_Leon_Gerome_Selling_Slaves_in_Rome.jpg]
 +*[[Jeunes Grecs Faisant battre des coqus]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_leon_gerome_combat_de_coqs.jpg]
 +*[[Police Verso]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-Leon_Gerome_Pollice_Verso.jpg]
 +*[[Duel After a Masquerade Ball]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_Duel_After_a_Masquerade_Ball.jpg]
 +*[[Bonaparte Before the Sphinx]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_003.jpg]
 +*[[Slave Market in Rome]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_004.jpg] (ca. 1884)
 +*[[Pygmalion and Galatea]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_009.jpg][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pygmalion_and_Galatea_%28G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me%29_front_1.jpg]
 +*[[Bath]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_012_Bath.jpg]
 +*[[Moorish bath]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_013_Moorish_bath.jpg][http://www.jahsonic.com/Moorish.jpg]
 +*[[Consummatum est]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Consummatum_est.jpg ]
 +*[[The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Christian_Martyrs_Last_Prayer.jpg]
 +*[[The Hookah Lighter]], c. 1898[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Hookah_Lighter.jpg]
 +*[[Working in Marble]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Working_in_Marble_%28Gerome%29.jpg]
 +*[[Pool in a Harem]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me,_Jean-L%C3%A9on_-_Pool_in_a_Harem.jpg]
 +*[[Alcibiades in the house of Aspasia]][http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AspasiaAlcibiades.jpg], (1861)
 +{{GFDL}}
[[Category:Canon]] [[Category:Canon]]

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Jean-Léon Gérôme (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French academic painter and sculptor who resisted the modern art movements of Impressionism begun by Monet and Manet, continuing the development and conservation of French neo-classicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. His work has been criticized in "Does Gerome Belong with Goya and Monet?" (1980) by art critic Hilton Kramer.


Contents

Life

Jean-Léon Gérôme was born at Vesoul (Haute-Saône). He went to Paris in 1840 where he studied under Paul Delaroche, whom he accompanied to Italy (1843–1844). He visited Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Pompeii, but he was more attracted to the world of nature. Taken by a fever, he was forced to return to Paris in 1844. On his return he followed, like many other students of Delaroche, into the atelier of Charles Gleyre and studied there for a brief time. He then attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1846 he tried to enter the prestigious Prix de Rome, but failed in the final stage because his figure drawing was inadequate.

He tried to improve his skills by painting The Cockfight (1846), an academic exercise depicting a nude young man and a lightly draped girl with two fighting cocks and in the background the Bay of Naples. He sent this painting to the Salon of 1847, where it gained him a third-class medal. This work was seen as the epitome of the Neo-Grec movement that had formed out of Gleyre's studio (such as Henri-Pierre Picou (1824–1895) and Jean-Louis Hamon), and was championed by the influential French critic Théophile Gautier.

Gérôme abandoned his dream of winning the Prix de Rome and took advantage of his sudden success. His paintings The Virgin, the Infant Jesus and St John (private collection) and Anacreon, Bacchus and Cupid (Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France) took a second-class medal in 1848. In 1849 he produced the paintings Michelangelo (also called In his studio) (now in private collection) and A portrait of a Lady (Musée Ingres, Montauban).

In 1851 he decorated a vase, later offered by Emperor Napoleon III of France to Prince Albert, now part of the Royal Collection at St. James's Palace, London. He exhibited Bacchus and Love, Drunk, a Greek Interior and Souvenir d'Italie, in 1851; Paestum (1852); and An Idyll (1853).

In 1852 Gérôme received a commission by Alfred Emilien Comte de Nieuwerkerke, Surintendant des Beaux-Arts to the court of Napoleon III, for the painting of a large historical canvas, the Age of Augustus image of the painting. In this canvas he combines the birth of Christ with conquered nations paying homage to Augustus. Thanks to a considerable down payment, he was able to travel in 1853 to Constantinople, together with the actor Edmond Got. This would be the first of several travels to the East : in 1854 he made another journey to Turkey and the shores of the Danube, where he was present at a concert of Russian conscripts, making music under the threat of a lash.

In 1854 he completed another important commission of decorating the Chapel of St. Jerome in the church of St. Séverin in Paris. His Last communion of St. Jerome in this chapel reflects the influence of the school of Ingres on his religious works.

To the exhibition of 1855 he contributed a Pifferaro, a Shepherd, A Russian Concert, The Age of Augustus and Birth of Christ. The last was somewhat confused in effect, but in recognition of its consummate rendering the State purchased it. However the modest painting, A Russian Concert (also called Recreation in the Camp) was more appreciated than his huge canvases.

In 1856 he visited Egypt for the first time. This would herald the start of many orientalist paintings depicting Arab religion, genre scenes and North African landscapes.

Gérôme's reputation was greatly enhanced at the Salon of 1857 by a collection of works of a more popular kind: the Duel: after the Masked Ball (Musée Condé, Chantilly), Egyptian Recruits crossing the Desert, Memnon and Sesostris and Camels Watering, the drawing of which was criticized by Edmond About.

In 1858 he helped to decorate the Paris house of Prince Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte in the Pompeian style. The prince had bought his Greek Interior (1850), a depiction of a brothel also in the Pompeian manner.

In Caesar (1859) Gérôme tried to return to a more severe class of work, the painting of Classical subjects, but the picture failed to interest the public. Phryne before the Areopagus, King Candaules and Socrates finding Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia (1861) gave rise to some scandal by reason of the subjects selected by the painter, and brought down on him the bitter attacks of Paul de Saint-Victor and Maxime Du Camp. At the same Salon he exhibited the Egyptian Chopping Straw, and Rembrandt Biting an Etching, two very minutely finished works.

He married Marie Goupil (1842–1912), the daughter of the international art dealer Adolphe Goupil. They had four daughters and one son. Upon his marriage he moved to a house in the Rue de Bruxelles, close to the music hall Folies Bergère. He expanded it into a grand house with stables with a sculpture studio below and a painting studio on the top floor.

Gérôme was elected, on his fifth attempt, a member of the Institut de France in 1865. Already a knight in the Légion d'honneur, he was promoted to an officer in 1867. In 1869 he was elected an honorary member of the British Royal Academy. The King of Prussia Wilhelm I awarded him the Grand Order of the Red Eagle, Third Class. His fame had become such that he was invited, along with the most eminent French artists, to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

The theme of his Death of Caesar (1867) was repeated in his historical canvas Death of Marshall Ney, that was exhibited at the Salon of 1867, despite official pressure to withdraw it as it raised painful memories. He returned successfully to the Salon in 1874 with his painting Eminence grise (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). In 1896 he painted Truth Rising from her Well, an attempt to describe the transparency of an illusion. He therefore welcomed the rise of photography as an alternative to his photographic painting. In 1902 he said "Thanks to photography, Truth has as last left her well".

Jean-Léon Gérôme died in his atelier on 10 January 1904. He was found in front of a portrait of Rembrandt and close to his own painting "The Truth". At his own request, he was given a simple burial service without flowers. But the Requiem Mass given in his memory was attended by a former president of the Republic, most prominent politicians, and many painters and writers. He was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery in front of the statue Sorrow that he had cast for his son Jean who had died in 1891.

He was the father-in-law of the painter Aimé Morot.

Influence

In 1853 Gérôme moved to the Boîte à Thé, a group of studios in the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris. This would become a meeting place for other artists, writers and actors. George Sand entertained in the small theatre of the studio the great artists of her time such as the composers Hector Berlioz, Johannes Brahms and Gioachino Rossini and the novelists Théophile Gautier and Ivan Turgenev.

He started an independent atelier at his house in the Rue de Bruxelles between 1860 and 1862.

He was appointed as one of the three professors at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He started with sixteen students, most who had come over from his own studio. His influence became extensive and he was a regular guest of Empress Eugénie at the Imperial Court in Compiègne.

When he started to protest and show a public hostility to "decadent fashion" of Impressionism, his influence started to wane and he became unfashionable. But after the exhibition of Manet in the Ecole in 1884, he eventually admitted that "it was not so bad as I thought".


Selected works

Painting

Gérôme's best paintings are of Eastern subjects; among these may be named:

Sculpture

Gérôme was also successful as a sculptor. His first work was a large bronze statue of a gladiator holding his foot on his victim, shown to the public at the Exposition Universelle of 1878. This bronze was based on the main theme of his painting Pollice verso (1872). The same year he exhibited a marble statue at the Salon of 1878, based on his early painting Anacreon, Bacchus and Cupid (1848).

Aware of contemporary experiments of tinting marble (such as by John Gibson) he produced Dancer with Three Masks (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen ), combining movement with colour (exhibited in 1902). His tinted group Pygmalion and Galatea provided his inspiration for several paintings in which he depicted himself as the sculptor who could turn marble into flesh; one example is Pygmalion and Galatea (1890) (Metropolitan Museum, New York).

Among his other works are Omphale (1887), and the statue of the duc d'Aumale which stands in front of the château of Chantilly (1899).

He started experimenting with mixed ingredients, using for his statues tinted marble, bronze and ivory, inlaid with precious stones and paste. His Dancer was exhibited in 1891. His lifesize statue Bellona (1892), in ivory, bronze, and gemstones, attracted great attention at the exhibition in the Royal Academy of London.

The artist then began a series of Conquerors, wrought in gold, silver and gems: Bonaparte entering Cairo (1897); Tamerlane (1898); and Frederick the Great (1899).

Pupils

His students included:

List of works




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