Jean-Leon Gerome

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Jean-Leon Gerome

French , Orientalist painter, draftsman and sculptor

Born 5/11/1824 - Died 1904

Born in Vesoul (Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France)

Died in Paris (Departement de Ville de Paris, Ile-de-France, France)

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French painter, was born on the 11th of May 1824 at Vesoul (Haute-SaOne). He went to Paris in 1841 and worked under Paul Delaroche, whom he accompanied to Italy (1844—1845). On his return he exhibited The Cock-fight, which gained him a third-class medal in the Salon of 1847. 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 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. 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 About. 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 de Saint-Victor and Maxime Ducamps. At the same Salon he exhibited the Egyptian chopping Straw, and Rembrandt biting an Etching, two very minutely finished works. Gérôme’s best paintings are of Eastern subjects; among these may be named the Turkish Prisoner and Turkish Butcher (1863); Prayer (1865); The Slave Market (1867); and The Harem out Driving (1869). He often illustrated history, as in Louis XIV. and Moliere (1863); The Reception of the Siamese Ambassadors at Fontainebleau (1865); and The Death of Marshal Ney (1868).

Gérôme was also successful as a sculptor; he executed, among other works; Omphale (1887), and the statue of the due d’Aumale which stands in front of the chateau 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 elected member of the Institut in 1865. He died in 1904.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

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10 June 2017 to 08 August 2017

Orientalist Paintings from the Collection of Kenneth Jay Lane


1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028


In celebration of the 10th anniversary of its dedication, the Kenneth Jay Lane Gallery is the setting for 26 paintings that have been promised or given to The Met by Mr. Lane. The European artists represented in this exhibition, including Horace Vernet and Jean-Léon Gérôme, shared a deeply ingrained fascination for the cultures that thrived beyond the Mediterranean, from Morocco in the west to Egypt and Turkey in the east.

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Paris Sept 10, 1854

Dear Sir,
I am replying to your inquiry concerning Mr. Friant. Maybe there are several painters by this name. If you are talking about Mr. Friant, student of my colleague Cabanel, who had this year a painting at the Exhibition titled The Favorite Corner and at the Trafalgar Exhibition had several paintings that were favored by the public, I have only good praise to give about his works. He is a gifted man of good promise, whose paintings deserved to be placed among the best painters of the modern school.
Faithfully yours,

J.L.Gerome


Image courtesy of Don Kurtz

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Image courtesy of Don Kurtz

Jean­Leon Gerome

Image courtesy of John Lovelady

Image courtesy of Don Kurtz

Image courtesy of Don Kurtz