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 Antoine-Jean Gros  (1771 - 1835)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: history and mythology painter

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Baron Jean-Antoine Gros is primarily known as Antoine-Jean Gros

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Ad Code: 1
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Portait of Napoleon Bonaparte, full-length, as First Consul
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Baron Antoine Jean Gros was born in Paris on March 16, 1771 His father (with the same name) was a miniaturist, and his mother had considerable talent in crayons. In 1785 he became a pupil of David, who helped him to obtain a passport for Italy and in 1793 he visited Florence. Genoa and Milan.

His painting "Napolean at the Battle of Arcola" brought him a staff appointment from Bonaparte, then in command of the French Army in Italy. After the Restoration, Gros's career followed closely along the lines of David's. He took over the master's studio and gave instruction to more than four hundred pupils. All the while, he was studying Rubens, who sensuous influence soon began to counterbalance the Davidian Neo-classicism Gros had previously adopted.

On the death of David Gris felt morally obligated to perpetuate the now-outmoded principles of his master. In one sense Gros was a strict adherent to classicism, yet he was the first of David's pupils to abandon classic and mythological scenes. He painted classic forms underneath modern costumes. His style was bold and full of movement; his color a great improvement over the coldness of the founders of the classic school.

Although he was favored by the Bourbons, he suffered greatly from the criticism directed against his work by the Romantics. He was too weak to resist the hostility of his colleagues and the desertion of the younger generation of artists. On June 30, 1835, after ill-health and depression, he took his own life. His body was found in the Seine and was properly buried.

Written and submitted September 2004 by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
New York World's Fair 1940, "Masterpieces of Ar",
Catalogue "Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists"

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