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Paul Delaroche - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Paul Delaroche (1797 - 1856)

Trained as a landscapist, Paul Delaroche switched to figure painting in 1817 after the failure of his work. He began to study under Gros and exhibit at the Paris Salon beginning in the 1820’s. Delaroche’s historical subjects were painted in a combination of romantic and classical styles. His reputation plummeted after his death, but received a revival in more recent years. Delaroche was born into a wealthy family and was trained by Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros, who then painted life-size histories and had many students. His subjects were painted with a firm, solid, smooth surface, which gave an appearance of the highest finish. This texture was the manner of the day and was also found in the works of Vernet, Ary Scheffer, Louis-Leopold Robert and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Delaroche's paintings, with their straightforward technique and dramatic compositions, became very popular. He applied essentially the same treatment to the characters of distant historical times, the founders of the Christian religion, and the real people of his own day, such as "Napoleon at Fontainebleau," "Napoleon at St Helena," or "Marie Antoinette leaving the Convention after her sentence."

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