The Gustave Moreau Biography

Moreau Biography

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Gustave Moreau (1826 - 1898)

French painter, was born in Paris on the 6th of April 1826. His father was an architect, who, discerning the lad's promise, sent him to study under Picot, a second-rate artist but clever teacher. The only influence which really affected Moreau's development was that of the painter Chass'au (1819-1857), with whom he was intimate when they both lived in the Rue Frochot, and of whom we find reminiscences even in his later works. Moreau's first picture was a Piet'u (1852), now in the cathedral at Angouleme. In the Salon of 1853 he exhibited a Scene from the Song of Songs (now in the Dijon Museum) and the Death of Darius (in the Moreau Gallery, Paris), both conspicuously under the influence of Chass'au. To the Great Exhibition of 1855 he sent the Athenians with the Minotaur (in the Museum at Bourg-en-Bresse) and Moses putting off his Sandals within Sight of the Promised Land.

Oedipus and the Sphinx, begun in 1862, and exhibited at the Salon of 1864, marked the beginning of his best period, during which he chose his subjects from history, religion, legend and fancy. In 1865 he exhibited Medea and Jason and The Young Man and Death; in 1866, the Head of Orpheus (in, the Luxembourg Gallery); Hesiod and the Muse, a drawing; and The Pen, a drawing; Prometheus (in the Moreau Gallery); Jupiter and Europa, a Piet'u>, and The Saint and the Poet, in 1869. After working in obscurity for seven years, he reappeared at the Salon in 1876 with Hercules and the Hydra, Saint Sebastian, Salom-ancing (presented to the
Luxembourg by M. Hayem); and in 1878 with The Sphinx's Riddle solved. Jacob, and Moses on the Nile. Moreau exhibited for the last time at the Salon of 1880, when he contributed Helen and Galatea; to the Great Exhibition of 1889 he again sent the Galatea and The Young Man and Death. He took prize medals at the Salon in 1864, 1865, 1869 and 1878. He was made knight of the Legion of Honour in 1875 and officer in 1883. He succeeded Delaunay as professor at the ole des Beaux Arts, and his teaching was highly popular. Moreau died on the 18th of April 1898 and was buried in Paris at the Cimetiere de Montmartre

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