More about Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry
In terms of technical style Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry is quite accomplished – his portraiture is amazing. In terms of originality…..maybe Baudry was making sure he kept getting paid.
He won the Prix de Rome in 1850, a scholarship started by Louis XIV, something that Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas couldn’t manage to accomplish. Jacques-Louis David tried three times to win and considered suicide after his last rejection. (The drama queen eventually won in 1774.) Diverging from his normal style, Baudry tried his hand at a historical event, his only one. He decided to depict Jean Paul Marat’s death from a different view point than David’s famous Death of Marat.
Baudry's murals and frescoes are what made him famous, what brought home the bacon, and what tickled his pickle. A lot of these still exist inside fancy homes, hotels, and estates in Europe. Most famously, the Palais Garnier has thirty-some paintings of his, depicting the history of music. It took him nearly ten years to finish it all. I wonder if the Phantom approved? With his sick 'stache and sharp suit he looks like he could’ve been Monsieurs Firmin and Andre’s assistant who never made it to act two.
If you’re ever bored and feeling a little macabre in Paris, pay his funeral monument a visit at the Père-Lachaise Cemetery.