Saturday, October 26, 2019

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)

Jean-Léon Gérôme was born in Vesoul (Haute-SaOne) on May 11, 1824. He was a major French painter. The son of a provincial goldsmith, Gérôme was accepted into the Paris studio of the painter Paul Delaroche, where he studied until 1843.

The painting "The Cock Fight" exhibited at the 1887 Salon launched his carrier. He won a third-class medal and the painting became the property of the State. Gérôme 's career was extremely productive (over 550 paintings and 75 sculptures) and successful.

From 1855, Gérôme regularly travelled to the East coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In 1857, he travelled along side Emile Augier and August Bartholdi in Egypt. In 1859 he showed the first Egyptian genre painting at the Salon, showing an innovative view of the Middle-East. Gérôme also exhibited three historical works: "King Candaules", "Ave Caesar" and "Death of Caesar".

Gérôme also travelled to Syria, Jordan (1862), Jerusalem (1868), Spain (1873) and Algeria (1873, 1883). The frequent trips to the Middle East provided the artist with interesting themes, as well as allowing him to amass a collection of Oriental artistic craftwork, which became his store of props.

Gérôme was in his prime at the time the Art Institute was established in 1879. His art had been purchased by American collectors for more than thirty years when his first work entered the museum in 1893. The five examples by Gérôme in the Art Institute, acquired over a ninety-five-year period, span his career and represent several aspects of his art. The group is comprised of three paintings, Portrait of a Lady (Rosine Faivre?) (1851), The Chariot Race (1876), and Love Conquers All (1889); and two sculptures, Anacreon with the Infants Bacchus and Cupid (1881), and Bonaparte Entering Cairo (1897).
Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)

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