The Painter as Documentalist

For a long time Jean-Léon Gérôme was stigmatised as the representative of sterile Academic art, until, in the later decades of his life, there was a profound change in how he was perceived. Today he is recognised as one of the great image creators of the nineteenth century. The exhibition in the s is an opportunity to look at all aspects of his work, from his sources to his influence: Gérôme’s place in French painting of his time, his theatrical interpretation of history painting, his complex relationship with exoticism, his use of polychromy in sculpture, his role as a teacher and his interest in the Classical model. It also looks at how his personality crystallised the whole anti-Academic struggle of the late 19th century, and finally how he aroused the passionate interest of the general public and American collectors.