Artist
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson
French painter

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Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson
French painter
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Birth Date

January 05, 1767

Death Date

December 09, 1824

Arty Fact

ezuckerman's picture

Contributor

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson was THE sexy rebel of post- Revolution France’s art world.

And just like that rebellious ex of yours, he was cute, insecure, and wrote bad poetry.

Girodet was born with enough family money and connections that he travelled to Paris for his education. He had an early penchant for drawing and his family attempted to steer him away from a career in art as he grew older, but to no avail. When he was 17, he officially joined the workshop of the infamous Jacques-Louis David. David was a propagandist painter who depicted Imperial Roman subjects to express political loyalty and emulate republican values favorably first during the French revolution and then under Napoleon. Eventually, Girodet got bored of intoxicating the masses and straight up copying David’s tired old paintings for rich people. It didn’t help that David was kind of a turd, often pitting his students against each other and making them feel bad about themselves.

Girodet went on to expand his work from the popular neo-classicism that was dominating at the time to paintings that had more eroticism and imagination in them. While most French artists were chasing perfect straight lines and revisiting the same ancient Greek and Roman subjects, Girodet pushed these rigid boundaries and found a lot of success. His work often depicted people who would not normally be painted, like a self-emancipated slave who became an advocate for black people in the French empire . Many also credit him for exploring homoerotic themes in his paintings and bringing a deep humanism and romantic beauty to his work.

As his career waxed and waned Girodet was continually plagued by insecurity, often becoming paranoid of his peers and painting in secret until the very last second. A highly public fight over a gorgeous but satirical portrait of a famous actress in 1799 would greatly damage his reputation and would haunt him for the rest of his life. Although he was talented, the portrait was so scathing, he kind of deserved it.

By his death in 1824, Girodet had long been declining in health, and had produced less and less as he aged. Despite that, at his funeral all his painting buddies mourned him whole-heartedly and bemoaned the loss of such an esteemed artist and example of French painterly greatness.

 

Sources

Sources

  1. Crow, Thomas E. Emulation : David, Drouais, and Girodet in the Art of Revolutionary France. Rev. ed. New Haven: Yale University Press in Association with the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2006.
  2. Fumaroli, Marc, and Bruno Chenique. Girodet, 1767-1824. Edited by Sylvain Bellenger. Paris: Gallimard, 2006.
  3. "Girodet: France's Romantic Rebel.(Museums Today)." USA Today (Magazine) 135, no. 2736 (2006): 42.
  4. Levitine, George. Girodet-Trioson : An Iconographical Study., 1952.
  5. Smalls, James. "Making Trouble for Art History: The Queer Case of Girodet." Art Journal 55, no. 4 (1996): 20-27. doi:10.2307/777650.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (or de Roucy), also known as Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (29 January 1767 – 9 December 1824), was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who participated in the early Romantic movement by including elements of eroticism in his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

Early Career

Girodet was born at Montargis. Both of his parents died when he was a young adult. The care of his inheritance and education fell to his guardian, a prominent physician named Benoît-François Trioson, "médecin-de-mesdames", who later adopted him. The two men remained close throughout their lives and Girodet took the surname Trioson in 1812. In school he first studied architecture and pursued a military career. He changed to the study of painting under a teacher named Luquin and then entered the school of Jacques-Louis David. At the age of 22 he successfully competed for the Prix de Rome with a painting of the Story of Joseph and his Brethren. From 1789 to 1793 he lived in Italy and while in Rome he painted his Hippocrate refusant les presents d'Artaxerxes and Endymion-dormant (now in the Louvre), a work which gained him great acclaim at the Salon of 1793 and secured his reputation as a leading painter in the French school.

Once he returned to France, Girodet painted many portraits, including some of members of the Bonaparte family. In 1806, in competition with the Sabines of David, he exhibited his Scène de déluge (Louvre), which was awarded the decennial prize. In 1808 he produced the Reddition de Vienne and Atala au tombeau, a work which won immense popularity, by its fortunate choice of subject – François-René de Chateaubriand's novel Atala, first published in 1801 – and its remarkable departure from the theatricality of Girodet's usual manner. He would return to his theatrical style in La Révolte du Caire (1810).

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson.