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Key facts
Full title Portrait of Armand Gérôme
Artist Jean-Léon Gérôme
Artist dates 1824 - 1904
Date made 1848
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 50.2 x 43.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917, The National Gallery, London. In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Inventory number NG3251
Location On loan to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Armand Gérôme
Jean-Léon Gérôme

This portrait by Jean-Léon Gérôme is of his younger brother, Claude-Armand, who is dressed in the uniform of the École Polytechnique, a prestigious school of higher education in Paris. It is related to an almost full-length portrait that was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1848 and which is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Claude-Armand was 21 when the portrait was painted, but died of meningitis only two years later. Gérôme may have painted the smaller portrait as a preparatory study for the full version, or as a commemorative image after his brother’s death.

Both paintings display Gérôme’s skill as a portraitist as he captures the slight droop on Armand’s left eyelid and perhaps just a hint of youthful arrogance. The smooth application of the paint in thin glazes, the minute attention to details of clothing and Claude-Armand’s cool reserve recall portraits by Ingres, whom Gérôme greatly admired.

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