American Egyptomania Search

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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Art & Architecture


riper middle age, it might be hoped, would flow on with a smoothness un- usual in mundane matters. Yet Al Gerome, beset with the restlessness so often found in large natures, sighs, Macedonian-like, for other worlds to conquer. So M. Gerome, after well-nigh exhausting the possibilities of the brush, aspires to the chisel, and neglects painting for sculpture, with no small prospect, if his friends may be trusted, of eventful success. "When shall you take up painting again?" he was asked. "Oh, some day or other," was the answer; "I suppose I shall have to do it to pay for my sculpture!"

Of M Gerome's qualities as a painter, it might be more appropriate to speak in detail in the course of our comment on his separate works. They may, however, be briefly summed up under three or four heads— scientific and skilful composition, exquisite finish in execution, brilliant, if not sympathetic coloring, and the most minute truth of detail. He is preeminently an intellectual painter. He has marvellous skill in grasping a whole scene or event, in all its ensemble, scope, and accessories, so as to convey the most complete and satisfactory impression to the observer's mind. He tells his story with consummate skill. Further than this, his broad experience, careful study, and varied choice of subject, make his pictures immensely interesting, apart from merely technical merit an the facts and objects presented. He carries us with him over the widest range f themes—historical, social, legendary, or poetic, of any known painter, executes archeological study with more of the artistic feeling than any, has a more lucid historical insight than any, conducts a drama with a. more masterly freedom from irrelevancy than any, and designs a figure in larger style than any. In a day of "art for artists," he is at the head of the school for scholars.

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