Symbolism 102 ~ Gustave Moreau

Okay, you got me, another Frenchie.  Yes, I may be a Francophile but my favorite artist in Symbolism is not French; Surprised?  You will have to wait for that reveal.

Gustave Moreau is a super artist; many people adore him and museums clamor for his exhibits.  I know that this deck is about introducing artists that you may not know much about or anything for that matter;  If you are going to talk about Symbolism, Gustave Moreau is going to dominate the conversation.

Gustave Moreau was born in Paris. His father, Louis Jean Marie Moreau, was an architect, who recognized his talent. His mother was Adele Pauline des Moutiers. Moreau initially studied under the guidance of François-Édouard Picot and became a friend of Théodore Chassériau, whose work strongly influenced his own. Moreau had a 25-year personal relationship, possibly romantic, with Adelaide-Alexandrine Dureux, a woman whom he drew several times. His first painting was a Pietà which is now located in the cathedral at Angoulême. He showed A Scene from the Song of Songs and The Death of Darius in the Salon of 1853. In 1853 he contributedAthenians with the Minotaur and Moses Putting Off his Sandals within Sight of the Promised Land to the Great Exhibition.

Moreau became a professor at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts in 1891 and among his many students were the fauvist painters, Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault. Jules Flandrin and Léon Printemps also studied with Moreau.

Moreau died in Paris and was buried there in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

During his lifetime, Moreau produced more than 8,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings, many of which are on display in Paris’Musée national Gustave Moreau at 14 rue de la Rochefoucauld (IXe arrondissement). The museum is in his former workshop, and began operation in 1903. André Breton famously used to “haunt” the museum and regarded Moreau as a precursor of Surrealism.

Once again, I will not include his paintings from the deck but here are two of his Masterpieces.  Yum!

Prometheus ~ 1868

Hercules and the Hydra ~ 1876

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