Collection: Jean-Léon Gérôme

Jean-Léon Gérôme

The Academic painter Jean-Léon Gérôme is one of the most important French artists of his time. He was conceived in May 1824, Eastern France, in a locale called Vesoul, Haute-Saone. At the age of sixteen, he moved to Paris where he contemplated under the Academic master, Paul Delaroche, who was Neoclassical and dug into the Romanticist themes. Both master and apprentice traveled together to Italy in 1843 and was able to investigate locations like the Vatican, Rome, and Pompeii. Although these urban communities were wealthy in culture for an artist to jump into, Gérôme was increasingly keen on watching the universe of nature around him. A year later, the artist had to come back to Paris because of a fever. He would then investigation painting for a concise period in Charles Gleyre's studio, in the same way as other artists who recently considered under Delaroche, before attending the lofty École des Beaux-Arts.

The year 1846 was a defining moment for Gérôme, as he failed to win the Prix de Rome because the judges thought his figure drawing was faulty. During the same year, the artist painted one of his first masterpieces, entitled The Cock Fight. Théophile Gautier, a significant French pundit, praised the Neo-Grec oil painting – a style that revitalized the Neoclassical style during the rule of Napoleon III. The gigantic accomplishment of The Cock Fight changed the heading of Gérôme's career, and he gave up on the Prix de Rome, concentrating on grand commissions coming in from new patrons.

As the years passed by and Gérôme's artistic creation developed, so did the importance of his payments. In 1852, the Academic painter got a grand commission to paint his renowned noteworthy piece entitled Age of Augustus, requested by Alfred Emilien Comte de Nieuwerkerke for the Emperor's court. This oil on canvas pays homage to Augustus, the principal Roman Emperor while consolidating this theme with the introduction of Christ, and the payment he got for it supported his outing to Constantinople the following year. Gérôme took several other motivating excursions toward the East, investigating places like Turkey, the Danube, and Greece.

In 1856, the artist took an important excursion to Egypt, the first of many, where he was roused by the Arab religion, the attire, artifacts, and generally the North African landscapes. In the same way as other artists of the time, Gérôme was taken by the Orientalist style and would create speedy oil outlines on location. The following year, he entered his Orientalist works in the Paris Salon, similar to Camels at a Watering Trough, Duel after the Masked Ball, Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert, and Memnon and Sesostris – enhancing his reputation as an artist. After getting married to Marie Goupil, the daughter of an unmistakable art dealer, Gérôme assembled a studio in 1860 in their large home, with space for painting and chiseling. The artist was regarded with many esteemed titles, as knighted in the Légion d'honneur, and was chosen an honorary individual from the Institut de France, as well as being part of the faculty of the École des Beaux-Arts, among others.

Gérôme passed away at 79 years of age in his Paris studio in January of 1904. He was discovered facing a Rembrandt portrait and was near his masterpiece entitled Truth Coming out of her Well – a painting that speaks of fantasy and its transparency, an impact of the ascent of photography and its impact on fine art.