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Gerome: Introductory and Critical

Gerome: A Collection of the Works of J.L. Gerome in One Hundred Photgravures. Multiple Volumes. New York: Samuel L. Hall, 1881.


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GEROME.

permit it, or after you if you repel me. Since twelve hundred francs keeps one alive at Paris, my allowance will keep me alive in Italy." The master accepted the company of his pupil, and the two departed together; the latter on this occasion remaining a year in Italy, copying landscapes rather than the old masters, and returned with his health, which had been tottering, firmly re-established. Meanwhile the family's ambition for the youthful genius had taken a definite form. They wished him to compete for the Prize of Rome, which permits the recipient to pursue his studies in Italy at government expense. As it was necessary for this to enter the studio of a particular master, he chose that of the Swiss painter Gleyre, famous in Paris, and renowned for his picture of the "Illusions Perdues." On reaching the age of twenty-one, however, Gerome discovered that his Swiss master had little or nothing to teach him in design, retired from his studio, and recommenced his labors with Delaroche. His father was still, however, importuning him to compete for the Prize of Rome, and the obedient son no longer withheld himself from the test. Pupils for this selection are first judged according to their crayon-drawings, and a class from those who have been medalled for these is set to paint from a dictated subject, while imprisoned in a range of secluded stalls. Repeatedly rewarded for his drawings, Gerome, at the test, was judged inferior in his painting to his rivals, Gawk/ and new struggles by painting from models that pair of admirable figures now known as the group of the" Cockfight," and preserved in the Lux Benonville. He did not lose heart, however, and prepared himself for embourg Gallery. "Decidedly," the reminiscences of the artist go on to say, "it was needful for me to learn to draw and model the nude, and it was with this intention of teaching myself that I executed my first picture, the ' Young Greeks setting cocks to fight.' But I had a the recommendation of the patron (Delaroche), that this canvas was sent in. Although very badly hung, the painting had a great success-a terror of the Salon, and was afraid of being rebuffed. It was only on success that without any doubt was exaggerated, and at which the most surprised person was the artist." This picture, he says again," has the slender merit of being the work of a sober young workman, who, knowing nothing, can find nothing to-do but rivet himself to nature."

This was the period (1847), when the Romantic School was sinking into prettiness with the false—Delacroix of Roqueplan and Louis Boulanger. "At that epoch," records the author of the surprising " Cock-



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