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Prix de Rome

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Pierre-Narcisse Guérin


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(b Paris, 13 Mar. 1774; d Rome, 16 July 1833).

French painter. He was one of the most successful French artists of his time, but his reputation did not long survive his death. In 1797 he won the Prix de Rome, and his later distinctions included becoming director of the French Academy in Rome in 1822 and being created a baron in 1829. His style was derived mainly from J.-L. David (who said, ‘I think he has been eavesdropping at the door of my studio’), but his scenes from classical history and mythology are less severe and more stagy. Next to David he was the most sought-after teacher of his period, his many pupils including Géricault and Delacroix, and he was an important figure in the transition from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. As a teacher he laid particular emphasis on the painted sketch and was instrumental in establishing a sketch competition as a preliminary to the Prix de Rome.

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