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Charles Gleyre


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(b Chevilly, nr. Lausanne, 2 May 1806; d Paris, 5 May 1874).

Swiss painter, active mainly in Paris, where he enjoyed a successful career, particularly with anecdotal scenes, sometimes in an antique setting, and portraits. He was a renowned teacher and when Delaroche closed down his teaching studio in 1843, the majority of his students transferred to Gleyre. He taught Whistler and several of the Impressionists—Bazille, Monet, Renoir, and Sisley—and although his own paintings were conventional, he encouraged open-air painting (see plein air). Renoir, however, said that his main strength as a teacher was that he left his pupils ‘pretty much to their own devices’. Gleyre closed his studio in 1864 because of an eye ailment.

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