Gérôme was a French painter and sculptor. He is best known for his classical paintings of Greek and Roman subjects and scenes of political, religious and daily life, particularly in Egypt and the Far East.
He was born in Vesoul in Eastern France on the 11th May 1824. His father encouraged him to study in Paris where he trained under Paul Delaroche. They travelled to Italy together until Gérôme fell ill and was forced to return to Paris in 1844. He then studied in the atelier (workshop) of the influential artist Charles Gleyre. In 1863 Gérôme became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, one of the most influential art schools of the time. Gérôme painted in a style known as ‘Academism’ which is cinematic and realistic. He was active in Paris around the same time as the Impressionist painters but he strongly opposed everything the Impressionists stood for and labelled their artwork a ‘decadent fashion.’
In his later years Gérôme experimented with sculpture and made ornate and colourful statues from a variety of materials.
He died on the 10th January 1904.