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Antoine-Jean Gros

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antoine-Jean Gros
Antoine Jean Gros par Gerard.jpg
Antoine-Jean Gros at age 20, c. 1791
Born16 March 1771 (1771-03-16)
Died25 June 1835 (1835-06-26) (aged 64)
near Meudon, France
NationalityFrench
EducationCollège Mazarin
Known forPainting

Antoine-Jean Gros (16 March 1771 – 25 June 1835), titled as Baron Gros in 1824,[1] was a French painter.[2] His work was in the genres of history and neoclassical painting.

Gros studied under Jacques-Louis David in Paris and began an independent artistic career during the French Revolution. Forced to leave France, he moved to Genoa and witnessed the nearby Battle of Arcole (1796). Inspired by an event during the battle, he produced a portrait of the French commander, Napoleon Bonaparte, then a newly promoted general. The portrait brought Gros to public attention and gained the patronage of Napoleon.

After travelling with Napoleon's army for several years, he returned to Paris in 1799. Gros produced several large paintings of battles and other events in Napoleon's life. These were mostly in a neoclassical style, but Napoléon on the Battlefield of Eylau adopted a more realistic portrayal of the horrors of war. Gros also painted portraits of officers in the French army and members of French high society. After the fall of Napoleon, he shifted his artistic focus and produced more history paintings, which art historians regard as less impressive than his earlier work.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Gros, Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-Stricken in Jaffa
  • ✪ Antoine Jean Gros: A collection of 52 paintings (HD)
  • ✪ Saylor.org ARTH207: "Jean-Antoine Houdon"
  • ✪ Aurèle au Louvre
  • ✪ Paul Delaroche: A collection of 34 paintings (HD)

Transcription

(jazzy music) Male: We're in the Musee du Louvre, and we're looking at Gros' massive canvas of Napoleon at the Pest House in Jaffa. Female: We're clearly not in Paris. Male: No, this is the Middle East. What's happening is the forces under Napoleon are fighting the British. In doing so, they came into contact with the plague. What Napoleon has done with his soldiers that have contracted plague is to put them in a kind of quarantine in a makeshift hospital in a mosque in Joffa, and according to the story, visited them in 1799. This painting was made five years later and is a really romantic and somewhat sanitized view of apparently what really happened. Female: By the time Napoleon commissions this, Napoleon is emperor of France where he had been just the general of the army when it actually happened. Napoleon obviously recognizes the enormous value of art as propaganda and so shows himself almost Christ-like visiting this makeshift hospital, disregarding the doctors and the fellow soldiers around him who are saying cover your mouth, don't breathe in the air here, this is very contagious. He walks through, Christ-like, unafraid of contagion, and even touches the sores of one of the plague victims. Male: Gros has actually borrowed directly from the [Belvedere] in his rendering of Napoleon. Napoleon is functioning as both Christ-like and borrowing directly from the greatest Classical tradition. The story itself is actually apparently a really nasty one because there were reports that Napoleon had actually forced his sick troops to drink laudanum in order to kill them. The other part of the story is that Napoleon had the prisoners that he had taken in battle bayoneted in part because he didn't want to have to be slowed down by them and he didn't want to waste his gunpowder on them. Female: So we have none of that sense of the truth of battle and war here. Male: No, this is pure propaganda. Female: This is pure propaganda for Napoleon who makes himself look like a divine leader. When I said at the beginning, "This isn't Paris," I said that in part because this would have looked very foreign and exotic to the viewers at the Paris Salon in 1804; clearly Islamic architecture, clearly a very far away place, figures wearing turbans and exotic clothing. In a way, part of the appeal of this painting was its exoticism and the beginnings, really, of orientalism. Male: It's interesting to see how Gros has handled the composition You have the figures in the foreground, a kind of stage set, that is really organized by the architecture and by that frieze of the Islamic arches that you had mentioned. Then, of course, we have this extraordinary expanse beyond it. We have the figures that have died or that are terribly sick in the shadows. Of course, Napoleon is lit by the sun. Female: We have that feeling of kind of Caravaggio lighting, extremes of light and dark, of strong dramatic contrasts in light, and that borrowing from Baroque art that we see in Romanticism. This is early for Romanticism, but still, we've clearly left Neoclassicism behind and we see artists beginning to take on this contemporary subject matter at the request of Napoleon who wants to document his rule and to use art as a kind of way to aggrandize himself. Male: He is hero, home and abroad. (jazzy music)

Contents

Early life and training

Equestrian portrait of prince Boris Yusupov, 1809
Equestrian portrait of prince Boris Yusupov, 1809

Born in Paris, Gros began to learn to draw at the age of six from his father, Jean-Antoine Gros,[3] who was a miniature painter, and showed himself as a gifted artist. His mother, Pierrette-Madeleine-Cécile Durand, was also a painter.[4] Towards the close of 1785, Gros, by his own choice, entered the studio of Jacques-Louis David, which he frequented assiduously, continuing at the same time to follow the classes of the Collège Mazarin.[5]

The death of his father, whose circumstances had been embarrassed by the French Revolution, threw Gros upon his own resources in 1791. He now devoted himself wholly to his profession, and he competed (unsuccessfully) in 1792 for the grand prix. Around this time, however, on the recommendation of the École des Beaux Arts, he was employed on the execution of portraits of the members of the National Convention, but disturbed by the development of the Revolution, Gros left France in 1793 for Italy.[5]

Genoa and Bonaparte

Bonaparte at the pont d'Arcole, 1796
Bonaparte at the pont d'Arcole, 1796

He supported himself at Genoa by the same means, producing a great quantity of miniatures and fixés. He visited Florence, but returned to Genoa where he made the acquaintance of Joséphine de Beauharnais. He followed her to Milan, where he was well received by her husband, Napoleon Bonaparte.[5]

On 15 November 1796, Gros was present with the army near Arcola when Bonaparte planted the French tricolor on the bridge. Gros seized on this incident, and showed by his treatment of it (entitled Bonaparte at the pont d'Arcole) that he had found his vocation. Bonaparte at once gave him the post of inspecteur aux revues, which enabled him to follow the army, and in 1797 nominated him to the commission charged with selecting the spoils which should enrich the Louvre.[5]

Paris

Bataille d´Aboukir, 25 juillet 1799, 1806
Bataille d´Aboukir, 25 juillet 1799, 1806

In 1799, having escaped from the besieged city of Genoa, Gros made his way to Paris, and in the beginning of 1801 took up his quarters in the Capucins. His esquisse of the Battle of Nazareth (now in the Musée de Nantes) gained the prize offered in 1802 by the consuls, but was not carried out, owing it is said to the jealousy of Jean-Andoche Junot felt by Napoleon; but he indemnified Gros by commissioning him to paint his own visit to the pest-house of Jaffa. Les Pestiférés de Jaffa (Louvre) was followed by The Battle of Aboukir, 1806 (Versailles), and The Battle of Eylau, 1808 (Louvre).[6] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, "these three subjects – the popular leader facing the pestilence unmoved, challenging the splendid instant of victory, heart-sick with the bitter cost of a hard-won field – gave Gros his chief title to fame."[5]

Britannica further remarks that as long as the military element remained bound up with French national life, Gros received from it a fresh and energetic inspiration which carried him to the very heart of the events which he depicted; but as the army and its general separated from the people, Gros, called on to illustrate episodes representative only of the fulfilment of personal ambition, ceased to find the nourishment necessary to his genius, and the defect of his artistic position became evident. Trained in the sect of the Classicists, he was shackled by their rules, even when by his naturalistic treatment of types, and appeal to picturesque effect in color and tone, he seemed to run counter to them.[5]

Salon of 1804

Napoleon at the Pyramids in 1798, 1810
Napoleon at the Pyramids in 1798, 1810
Lieutenant Charles Legrand, c. 1810
Lieutenant Charles Legrand, c. 1810

At the Salon of 1804, Gros debuted his painting Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa. The painting launched his career as a successful painter. It depicts Bonaparte in Jaffa visiting soldiers infected with the bubonic plague. He is portrayed reaching out to one of the sick, unfazed by the illness.

While Bonaparte did actually visit the pesthouse, later, as his army prepared to withdraw from Syria, he ordered the poisoning (with laudanum) of about fifty of his plague-infected men.[7] The painting was commissioned as damage control when word spread of his actions. The painting is in the neoclassical style, though it shows elements such as the lighting and a taste for the exotic that are precursors to the upcoming Romantic ideals.

Later life and death

In 1810, his Madrid and Napoleon at the Pyramids (Versailles) show that his star had deserted him. His Francis I and Charles V, 1812 (Louvre), had considerable success, but the decoration of the dome of St. Genevieve (begun in 1811 and completed in 1824) is the only work of Gros's later years which shows his early force and vigour, as well as his skill. The "Departure of Louis XVIII" (Versailles), the Embarkation of Madame d'Angoulême (Bordeaux), the plafond of the Egyptian room in the Louvre, and finally his Hercules and Diomedes, exhibited in 1835, testify only that Gros's efforts – in accordance with the frequent counsels of his old master David – to stem the rising tide of Romanticism only damaged his once brilliant reputation.[5]

Again citing the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "Exasperated by criticism and the consciousness of failure, Gros sought refuge in the gros[ser] pleasures of life." On 25 June 1835, he was found drowned on the shores of the Seine at Meudon, near Sèvres. From a paper which he had placed in his hat, it became known that "tired of life, and betrayed by last faculties which rendered it bearable, he had resolved to end it."[5]

Renown

Gros was made a member of the Legion of Honour on 22 October 1808 by Napoleon,[8] after the Salon of 1808, at which he had exhibited the Battle of Eylau.[6] The number of Gros's pupils was very great and was considerably augmented when, in 1815, David quit Paris and gave over his own classes to him.[5]

Under the Bourbon Restoration, Gros became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts,[9] a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, and a member of the Order of Saint Michael. He was granted the title of baron in 1824 by King Charles X of France.[1]

Gros had also been an inspiration to Eugène Delacroix, especially with his work in lithography. The two both worked in the same time period, and both did portraits of Napoleon. However, at one point, Gros had referred to Delacroix's Chios and Missolonghi as "a massacre of art".

G. Dargenty produced a book titled: Les Artistes Celebres ("Famous Artists"), Le Baron Gros, GILBERT WOOD & Co., London.

M. Delcluze gave a brief notice of his life in Louis David et son temps ("Louis David and his times"), and Julius Meyer's Geschichte der modernen französischen Malerei ("History of Modern French Painting") contains what Britannica cites as an excellent criticism on his works.[5]

Iconography

Image Title Date Dimensions Collection
Antoine Jean Gros, Autoportrait, 1795.jpg
Autoportrait 1795 Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros - Madame Pasteur.jpg
Madame Pasteur 1795–1796 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
Portrait of Madame Bruyere 1796 79 × 65 cm Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
1801 Antoine-Jean Gros - Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcole.jpg
Bonaparte at the Pont d'Arcole 1796 130 × 94 cm Palace of Versailles
The Death of Timophanes 1798 44.4 × 57.6 cm The Louvre
Antoine-Jean Gros 009.jpg
Portrait of Christine Boyer c. 1800 214 × 134 cm The Louvre
Antoine-Jean Gros 010.jpg
The Battle of Nazareth 1801 136.1 x 196.4 cm Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Antoine-Jean Gros - Sappho at Leucate - WGA10704.jpg
Sappho at Leucate 1801 122 × 100 cm Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux
Gros - First Consul Bonaparte.png
First Consul Bonaparte 1802 205 × 127 cm Musée de la Légion d'honneur
Antoine-Jean Gros - Bonaparte visitant les pestiférés de Jaffa.jpg
Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa 1804 715 × 523 cm The Louvre
Gros - Gérard-Christophe-Michel Duroc, duc de Frioul (1772-1813).jpg
Gérard-Christophe-Michel Duroc, duc de Frioul (1772-1813) 1805 218 × 142 cm Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros - Bataille d'Aboukir, 25 juillet 1799 - Google Art Project.jpg
Battle of Aboukir, July 25, 1799 1806 578 × 968 cm Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros - Napoleon on the Battlefield of Eylau - Google Art Project.jpg
Battle of Eylau, February 9, 1807 1807 104.9 × 145.1 cm The Louvre
Pierre Zimmermann.jpg
Portrait of the French composer Pierre Zimmermann 1808 118.5 × 91 cm Palace of Versailles
Equestrian Portrait of Jerome Bonaparte.jpg
Equestrian portrait of Jérôme Bonaparte c. 1808 321 × 265 cm Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros - Equestrian portrait of prince Boris Yusupov - Google Art Project.jpg
Equestrian portrait of Prince Boris Yusupov 1809 321 × 266 cm Pushkin Museum
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros-Battle Pyramids 1810.jpg
Battle of the Pyramids 1810 389 × 311 cm Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros - Capitulation de Madrid, le 4 décembre 1808.jpg
Napoleon accepts the surrender of Madrid, 4 December 1808 1810 361 × 500 cm Museum of French History
Antoine-Jean Gros 003.jpg
The Horse of Mustapha Pasha c. 1810 89 × 175 cm Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'archéologie de Besançon
Général Claude Juste Alexandre Legrand.jpg
Portrait of General Claude Legrand c. 1810 245 × 172 cm Palace of Versailles
Gros, Antoine-Jean - Portrait du second lieutenant Charles Legrand - 1809-1810.jpg
Portrait of Second Lieutenant Charles Legrand c. 1810 249 × 162 cm Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Apothéose de st Geneviève 3.jpg
The Apotheosis of Saint Genevieve 1811–1824 Panthéon de Paris
François I and Charles V Visiting the Church of Saint-Denis 1812 The Louvre
Murat by Gros.jpg
Equestrian portrait of Joachim Murat 1812 89 × 175 cm Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'archéologie de Besançon
Gros-General Lariboisière and his son.jpg
General Baston de Lariboisière and his son Ferdinand c. 1815 Musée de l'Armée
Gros - Portrait du comte Honoré de La Riboisière (1788-1868).jpg
Honoré-Charles Baston de Lariboisière 1815 73 × 59 cm Private collection
Departure of Louis XVIII from the Palace of the Tuileries on the Night of 20 March 1815 1817 405 × 525 cm Palace of Versailles
Antoine-Jean Gros 004.jpg
Embarkation of Madame d'Angoulême 1819 326 × 504 cm Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
Gros - Jean-Antoine Chaptal.png
Count Jean-Antoine Chaptal 1824 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
Antoine-Jean-Gros Hercule et Diomède.jpg
Hercules and Diomedes 1835 426 × 324 cm Musée des Augustins
Pierre Daru.jpg
Portrait of Pierre Daru 19th century 216 × 142 cm Palace of Versailles

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Antoine-Jean Gros | An Introduction to 19th Century Art". Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  2. ^ "Ministère de la culture - Baron Gros". Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  3. ^ The Napoleon Series
  4. ^ Profile of Pierrette-Madeleine-Cécile Durand at the Dictionary of Pastellists Before 1800.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gros, Antoine Jean, Baron" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 615.
  6. ^ a b Prendergast, Christopher. (1997). Napoleon and History Painting: Antoine-Jean Gros's La Bataille d'Eylau. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-817402-0
  7. ^ Peterson, Robert K. D.; "Insects, Disease, and Military History: The Napoleonic Campaigns and Historical Perception"; American Entomologist 41:147-160. (1995) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-03-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) retvd 3 26 15
  8. ^ "Ministère de la culture - Base Léonore". Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  9. ^ "Ministère de la culture". Retrieved 2017-06-12.

References

External links

This page was last edited on 18 July 2018, at 20:16
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