Jean-Léon Gérôme

Alternative Name(s):
Date of Birth: May 10, 1824
Place of Birth: Vesoul, France
Date of Death: Jan 10, 1904
Focus: Painter, Sculptor
Art movement: Orientalism
Nationality: French

Famous Jean-Léon Gérôme Artwork

Jean-L Biography

Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter who was born in 1824. He was known primarily as a proponent of Academic Classicism and was a vocal and outspoken critic of Impressionism. He is known for his realistic canvases completed to a high degree of finish.

Gérôme went to Paris in 1840 to study with Paul Delaroche. After a tour of Italy with Delaroche, he studied in Charles Gleyre’s atelier and later at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He failed to win the Prix de Rome, but quickly became a popular and successful painter. “Pollice Verso” and “L’Eminence Gris” are among his most representative works and demonstrate consummate skill. His work also explored Orientalism.

Also well known as a teacher, Gérôme taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. As an educator, he aimed at reviving classical ideals. With Charles Bargue, he developed a drawing course that became a standard instructional tool throughout Europe and beyond. It is still in use today.

Among many honors, Gérôme was a knight in the French Legion of Honor and an honorary member of the British Royal Academy. He also decorated the home of Napoleon Bonaparte.

With the rise of Impressionism, Gérôme’s populairty waned. In 1904, he died in front of a portrait of Rembrandt in his atelier.