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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.

and there found that hapless "Russian band," each man condemned to play his on note forever, which the former has immortalized.

In 1855 the Orient' unlocked as gates for the tourist who was to levy upon it such immense tribute, and bring back such remarkable booty. After this sojourn on the Nile, "several pictures," he says, "were executed at the close of this sojourn with the Father of Waters, among others, 'Cutting the Straw' (1861), which I think gives pretty well the pastoral and farmer side of Egypt; then 'The Prisoner' (1863) now at the Nantes Museum, which had an unanimous success, and was appreciated both by critics and imbeciles. From the same starting point dates another. of my paintings to which I gave but small value, 'The Masked Duel,' a com- position rather in the English taste, the subject of which captivated the public. Execution satisfactory—certain bits well treated." The, original of this theme is in the Duke of Aumale's gallery, and a replica in the Walters collection at Baltimore. "Later I exhibited the 'Ave Caesar' (1859), which I consider, with the other canvas of the same kind ('Pollice Verso') as my two best works. At the same time with the 'Ave Caesar; namely, in 1859, issued from my studio the 'Death of Caesar,' which certain amiable critics have christened 'The Washing-Day.' For myself, who ant no enemy to the gambols of gayety, I Own and enjoy the comic sae of this witticism; but this composition, setting aside all modesty, deserves a more deliberate judgment. The presentment of the subject is dramatic and original. It is a small canvas, capable of being executed on a more ample scale without losing its character."

In 1859, Gerome, having just made a popular success with his pictures of " The Masked Duel.' and "Ave Caesar, Morituri te Salutant;' presented himself as a candidate for enrolment among the French Academicians. He was refused, the preference being-given to M. Hesse, an official painter and flatterer; as a compensation, a place was offered to Gerome as one of the professors in the Beaux-Arts School, along with Cabanel and Pils. He would be more lost and hidden there than in the Academic des Beaux Arts; but, on the other hand, he could render more distinct benefits and imprint his learning more directly on the youth of France. He accepted the place and has never renounced it,, though time detriment to his business is enormous, and the trifling salary a derision. The desire to do good has completely controlled the after-life of the Neo-Grec voluptuary of the Chalet in the Rue Fleurus, whose every-man for-himself independence was formerly so great, that in 1848 he headed a deputation to petition



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