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Jean-Léon Gérôme
1824 - 1904
Jean-Léon Gérôme is related to 4 records

Jean-Léon Gérôme was born on May 11, 1824 in Vesoul, a French town, bordering Switzerland. His father, Pierre Gérôme, was a goldsmith, and his mother, Claude Françoise Mélanie Vuillemot, was a merchant's daughter. He was brought up in a middle-class family where he received a better than average education for artists. At school in Vesoul he was successful from an early age in his academic studies, receiving prizes in chemistry, physics and oil painting.

At the age of 16 in 1840, his formal schooling accomplished, he set out for Paris armed with only a letter of introduction to the renowned history painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1856) who was at the height of his fame. Gérôme progressed quickly and became a close friend of the master. Much to his dislike, he also attended the École des Beaux-Arts, a prerequisite to public and critical acceptance. He never won the coveted Prix de Rome, since he was judged deficient in representing the nude. Consequently, Gérôme set to work on two life-size nudes for his Hellenic fantasy which he submitted to the 1847 Salon, where he won a third-class medal and the extravagant praise of one of the most respected and influential art critics of the day, Theophile Gautier. Gautier dubbed Gérôme's Hellenism as "Neo-Grec," a mode subsequently taken up by several of Gérôme's friends.

Gérôme was awarded many commissions supported by the French government. By 1860, great fame had followed these commissions gradually increasing the value of his pieces until the state found he had become too expensive. The situation, however, enabled him to expand his creativity and adventurous style for the Salons. These paintings showed great originality, merging his old-fashioned classical interests with the contemporary objectivity of Realism.

In 1862 he married Marie Goupil (1842-1912), the daughter of the international art dealer Adolphe Goupil. They had four daughters and one son.
Gérôme was at the height of his career by 1870. He was a regular guest of the Empress at Compiègne, he was a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts , and he had amassed many other dignitary titles. By the late 1870s, Gérôme made his public debut as a sculptor at the Paris International Exhibition of 1878 .

Jean-Léon Gérôme died in his atelier in Paris on January 10, 1904. He was found in front of a portrait of Rembrandt and close to his own painting "The Truth". He was given a simple burial service without flowers, his request, even though many, many admirers attended his Mass Requiem. 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.

"Jean-Léon Gérôme - His Life, His Work 1824-1904", Gerald M Ackerman, ACR Edition, 1997.

Fanny Field Hering, The Life and Works of Jean-Leon Gérôme (New York: Cassell Publishing Co., 1892).

Charles Moreau-Vauthier, Gérôme, painter et scultpteur (Paris: Hachette, 1906).

Gerald M. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Leon Gérôme (London: Sotheby's Publications, 1986).

Also known as:
Primary Name:  Jean-Léon Gérôme