Gustave Moreau

1826 - 1898

Moreau was born in Paris and trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The work of Delacroix - and that of Theodore Chassériau, who was an admirer of Delacroix's and a friend of Moreau's - was a great influence on his development. He visited Italy ##BR## (1857-9) and developed an interest in Byzantine art and the primitive Italian painters.

Moreau sought to perpetuate the traditions of religious and mythological painting, at a time when naturalism was becoming increasingly dominant. Hostile criticism of his work caused him to exhibit only intermittently at the Salon, though later he was elected a member of the Academy. He also taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1892, winning the admiration of students, who included Matisse and Georges Rouault. He was a leading painter of the French Symbolist movement.