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Artist Jean Gerome

Jean Gerome

Jean Gerome, from 1824 - 1904, near Vesoul, France.


  • The artwork of the French artist epitomized the term ‘Academic Art’, which was painting and sculpture produced under the influence of the Academies of Europe, especially in France.

  • The artistic style was characterized by a highly polished genre that utilized mythology or historical subject matter and was often moralistic in tone.

  • Artist Jean Gerome was a French painter and sculptor, who, early in his life, studied art in the studio and under the guidance of Paul Delaroche.

  • Jean Gerome struggled for the first few years, painting religious cards and selling them on the steps of churches in order to survive, but finally left for Italy; however, it was from Delaroche that Gerome inherited his highly finished academic style.

  • In the late 1840s, Jean Gerome received a monumental commission from the French government to paint the massive Age of Augustus and in preparation for this artistic challenge, artist Jean Gerome traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia Minor, documenting the customs of various regions.

  • Jean Gerome then spent two years creating the commissioned painting, tirelessly perfecting details of various ethnic groups.

  • Using the payment from the painting, artist Jean Gerome indulged his wanderlust and spent many months traveling and sketching in Egypt and then in the winter of 1871, he spent time in Turkey, Spain and Algiers in 1873, and Holland in 1874, where he studied under Frans Hals.

  • Jean Gerome returned to Turkey in 1879 and then again moved on to Egypt in 1880.

  • These travels were followed by trips to Greece in 1881, London in 1888, Sicily in 1890 and finally to Italy in 1889 with François Flameng and Victor Clairin.

  • Artist Jean Gerome's highly finished, anecdotal paintings were fused with mythology, history, fantasy, sentimentality and often eroticism because of his love for the Neo-Classical style of art with the focus on the graceful and intimate subjects of antiquity.

  • His artwork, though often melodramatic, was brilliant in detail and polish, but he was best known for his images and scenes from the Middle East.

  • In game of checkers artist Jean Gerome's painting, ‘Arnauts Playing Draughts’ (The Checkers Players) of 1859, Gerome's image depicted a leisurely scene where Moors in Egypt were immersed in a checkers game and the viewer is drawn into a historical moment in time by the Middle Eastern setting and the authentic dress of the checkers players.

  • The painter’s classical use of the dramatic lighting against a dark, muted background brought the focus to the theme of the composition, which was the game of checkers and the triangular grouping of the two checkers players and the spectator.

  • Minimal color was strategically placed in the clothing of the Arnauts and in stark contrast to the white of the ‘skirts’ set against the dark shadow of the table, which then draws the attention to the checkerboard.

  • Gerome's painting of the game of checkers activity also depicted very realistic poses and an atmosphere of concentration that surrounded the game board.

  • Scenes like the image of the Arnauts playing checkers won the artist great popularity and gave him considerable influence as an upholder of academic tradition and enemy of progressive trends in art such as Impressionism.

  • Gerome's art demonstrated a love for traditionalism and authentic detail and he was a great proponent of the orientalist movement as evidenced in the checkers game.

  • For the last twenty five years of his life, however, artist Jean Gerome concentrated mainly on his sculpture and his studio quickly became a meeting place for artists, actors and writers.

  • Ca. 1864, he was appointed a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts and became a legendary and respected master, who was noted for his sardonic wit, lax discipline, regimented teaching methods and extreme hostility to the Impressionists.

  • It was mainly this attitude towards Impressionism that caused the decline of Jean Gerome's popularity towards the end of his life.

  • Checkers artist Jean Gerome died in Paris in 1904 but left an amazing legacy of artwork and historical account of his earlier travels.








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DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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