Jean-Léon Gerome

Born in 1824, the French painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme was and is still able to captivate numerous of individuals with his works.

At the age of 18, he decided to marry Marie Goupil, the daughter of Adolphe Goupil, an international art dealer. Jean and Marie moved to a house in the Rue de Bruxelles. This house was grand in size; it had a sculpture studio and a painting studio, where Jean tended to spend most of his time.

In 1844, he was fortunate to embark in a trip that took him to Pompeii, the Vatican, Rome, and Florence. Jean had to interrupt his trip due to a fever and went to Paris, where he attended the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1846, he tried to enter the prestigious Prix de Rome, but was rejected for failing the final stage.

In order to enter Prix de Rome, he knew had to practice his skills, so he did just that. He painted the now famous painting The Cockfight and then he sent it to the Salon, where it garnered him a third-class medal. This caused his popularity to skyrocket, which made him abandon his dream of entering the Prix de Rome, as he decided to take full advantage of his success.

During his lifetime, Jean received numerous of honors, which are only awarded to individuals who have been able to leave a strong print in society with their hard work, such as being named an honorary member of the British Royal Acdemy and being awarded the Grand Order of the Red Eagle by the King of Prussia Wilhelm I.

As the year went by, Mr. Gérôme traveled to different places in the world, such as Egypt. His painting began to depict North African landscapes, genre scenes, and the Arab religion. His popularity never stopped augmenting. Prince Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte had him decorate his house in Paris in 1858. Jean-Léon also became a well-known teacher with a lot of students. He made sure to teach them everything he had learned over the years regarding painting and sculpting.

Jean and Marie had four daughters and one son who died in 1891. Mr. Gérôme passed away in 1904 in Paris, France. John was found death in front of a portrait of Rembrandt and very close to his own painting ‘The Truth.’ To this day, he is considered to be one of the most important painters from his academic period. One of his most famous sculpting works is Tanagra, and one of his most famous painting works, which was able to popularize the ‘thumbs down’ gesture, is Pollice Verso.

View Jean-Léon Gerome Gallery