Paul Delaroche


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(b Paris, 17 July 1797; d Paris, 4 Nov. 1856).

French painter, one of the leading pupils of Gros. He achieved European fame with his melodramatic, Hollywoodesque history scenes, engravings of which hung in thousands of homes. Often he chose subjects from English history, as with three of his most famous works, Cromwell Gazing at the Body of Charles I (1831, Mus. B.-A., Nîmes), The Princes in the Tower (1831, Louvre, Paris; reduced replica in Wallace Coll., London), and the Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1833, NG, London). They are Romantic in flavour, but academically impeccable in their draughtsmanship and detailing. After a period when such pictures were totally out of favour, his work is once again being treated seriously. Delaroche also painted religious works and portraits, and he was a highly respected teacher, his pupils including Couture, Gérôme, and Millet. In 1835 he married the daughter of Horace Vernet; her early death in 1845 cast a pall over his final years.

Subjects: Art.

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