The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Gérôme, Jean Léon

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GÉRÔME, Jean Léon, a French painter, born in Vesoul, May 11, 1824. In 1841 he went to Paris and studied under Paul Delaroche, whom he accompanied to Italy. He returned to Paris in 1845, and exhibited his first picture in 1847. For several years afterward he travelled in the East, his journeys furnishing him with numerous subjects for pictures. He obtained medals in 1847, 1848, and 1855, and in the last year received the decoration of the legion of honor. In 1863 he became professor of painting in the school of fine arts, and in 1869 was decorated with the order of the red eagle. He has produced many pictures of the life of the ancients, which have placed him at the head of a school of art designated as the Pompeiian or New Greek; and several of his pictures have been criticised as indelicate to the last degree. Among his works are “The Virgin, the Infant Jesus, and St. John,” “Bacchus and Cupid,” “A Greek Interior,” the frieze of the vase commemorative of the London exhibition of 1851, “The Plague at Marseilles,” “The Death of St. Jerome,” and “A Lioness meeting a Jaguar.” His masterpiece in historical art is “The Age of Augustus and the Birth of Jesus Christ,” exhibited in 1855, and purchased by the French government. He exhibited in London in 1871 a naked Nubian girl, entitled “To be Sold,” and “Cleopatra brought to Cæsar in a Basket,” the latter inferior to most of his other works. One of his latest pictures, “The Gladiators,” was purchased in 1873, by Mr. A. T. Stewart of New York, for 80,000 francs.