Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Last updated
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
Anne-Louis Girodet autoportrait.jpg
Self-portrait, 1790, Hermitage Museum
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

(1767-01-29)29 January 1767
Died9 December 1824(1824-12-09) (aged 57)
Paris, France
Resting place Père Lachaise Cemetery
Nationality French
Known for Painting
Notable work
Ossian receiving the ghosts of the fallen French Heroes, 1801; The Funeral of Atala, 1808; Portrait de Chateaubriand méditant sur les ruines de Rome, after 1808
Movement Classicism, Romanticism

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (or de Roucy), also known as Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (29 January 1767 9 December 1824), [1] was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who participated in the early Romantic movement by including elements of eroticism in his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

Painting Practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.

Jacques-Louis David French painter

Jacques-Louis David was a French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward classical austerity and severity and heightened feeling, harmonizing with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.


Early Career

Girodet was born at Montargis. Both of his parents died when he was a young adult. The care of his inheritance and education fell to his guardian, a prominent physician named Benoît-François Trioson, "médecin-de-mesdames", who later adopted him. The two men remained close throughout their lives and Girodet took the surname Trioson in 1812. [1] In school he first studied architecture and pursued a military career. [2] He changed to the study of painting under a teacher named Luquin and then entered the school of Jacques-Louis David. At the age of 22 he successfully competed for the Prix de Rome with a painting of the Story of Joseph and his Brethren. [2] [3] From 1789 to 1793 he lived in Italy and while in Rome he painted his Hippocrate refusant les presents d'Artaxerxes and Endymion-dormant (now in the Louvre), a work which gained him great acclaim at the Salon of 1793 and secured his reputation as a leading painter in the French school.

Montargis Subprefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Montargis is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France on the Loing river. The town is located about 110 km (68 mi) south of Paris and 70 km (43 mi) east of Orléans in the Gâtinais.

Prix de Rome French scholarship for arts students

The Prix de Rome or Grand Prix de Rome was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were awarded a bursary that allowed them to stay in Rome for three to five years at the expense of the state. The prize was extended to architecture in 1720, music in 1803, and engraving in 1804. The prestigious award was abolished in 1968 by André Malraux, the Minister of Culture.

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

A Deluge Scene (Une scene de deluge), 1806, Louvre, Paris Une Scene de Deluge Girodet.jpg
A Deluge Scene (Une scène de déluge), 1806, Louvre, Paris
The Sleep of Endymion (Le Sommeil d'Endymion or Effet de lune), 1791, Louvre Girodet - Sommeil Endymion.jpg
The Sleep of Endymion (Le Sommeil d'Endymion or Effet de lune), 1791, Louvre

Once he returned to France, Girodet painted many portraits, including some of members of the Bonaparte family. In 1806, in competition with the Sabines of David, he exhibited his Scène de déluge (Louvre), which was awarded the decennial prize. [1] In 1808 he produced the Reddition de Vienne and Atala au tombeau, a work which won immense popularity, by its fortunate choice of subject François-René de Chateaubriand's novel Atala , first published in 1801 – and its remarkable departure from the theatricality of Girodet's usual manner. He would return to his theatrical style in La Révolte du Caire (1810). [4]

House of Bonaparte imperial and royal European dynasty

The House of Bonaparte was an imperial and royal European dynasty of Italian origin. It was founded in 1804 by Napoleon I, the son of Genoese nobleman Carlo Buonaparte. Napoleon was a French military leader who had risen to power during the French Revolution and who in 1804 transformed the First French Republic into the First French Empire, five years after his coup d'état of November 1799. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories during the Napoleonic Wars. He installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, extending the power of the dynasty.

François-René de Chateaubriand French writer, politician, diplomat and historian

François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand, was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian who founded Romanticism in French literature. Descended from an old aristocratic family from Brittany, Chateaubriand was a royalist by political disposition. In an age when a number of intellectuals turned against the Church, he authored the Génie du christianisme in defense of the Catholic faith. His works include the autobiography Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe, published posthumously in 1849–1850.

<i>Atala</i> (novella) novella by François-René de Chateaubriand

Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le désert is an early novella by François-René de Chateaubriand, first published on 12 germinal IX. The work, inspired by his travels in North America, had an immense impact on early Romanticism, and went through five editions in its first year. It was adapted frequently for stage, and translated into many languages.

Later life

Self-portrait from 1824, Musee des Beaux-Arts d'Orleans Girodet Autoportrait.JPG
Self-portrait from 1824, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans
The Funeral of Atala (Funerailles d'Atala or Atala au tombeau), 1808, Louvre Atala au tombeau,1808,Girodet de Roussy -Trioson, Louvre..JPG
The Funeral of Atala (Funérailles d'Atala or Atala au tombeau), 1808, Louvre

Girodet was a member of the Academy of Painting and of the Institut de France, a knight of the Order of Saint Michael, and officer of the Legion of Honour. [1] Among his pupils were Hyacinthe Aubry-Lecomte, Augustin Van den Berghe the Younger, François Edouard Bertin, Angélique Bouillet, Alexandre-Marie Colin, Marie Philippe Coupin de la Couperie, Henri Decaisne, Paul-Emile Destouches, Achille Devéria, Eugène Devéria, Savinien Edme Dubourjal, Joseph Ferdinand Lancrenon, Antonin Marie Moine, Jean Jacques François Monanteuil, Henry Bonaventure Monnier, Rosalie Renaudin, Johann Heinrich Richter, François Edme Ricois, Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury, and Philippe Jacques Van Brée. [5]

Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture academy that sought to professionalize the artists working for the French court

The Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, was the premier art institution in France in the eighteenth century.

Institut de France French learned society, grouping five académies

The Institut de France is a French learned society, grouping five académies, including the Académie française.

Order of Saint Michael

The Order of Saint Michael is a French dynastic order of chivalry, founded by Louis XI of France on 1 August 1469, in competitive response to the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece founded by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, Louis' chief competitor for the allegiance of the great houses of France, the Dukes of Orléans, Berry, and Brittany. As a chivalric order, its goal was to confirm the loyalty of its knights to the king. Originally, there were a limited number of knights, at first thirty-one, then increased to thirty-six including the king. An office of Provost was established in 1476. The Order of St Michael was the highest Order in France until it was superseded by the Order of the Holy Spirit.

In his forties his powers began to fail, and his habit of working at night and other excesses weakened his constitution. In the Salon of 1812 he exhibited only a Tête de Vierge; in 1819 Pygmalion et Galatée showed a further decline of strength. In 1824, the year in which he produced his portraits of Cathelineau and Bonchamps, Girodet died on December 9 in Paris. [4] At a sale of his effects after his death, some of his drawings realized enormous prices. [1]

Jacques Cathelineau Insurrection leader during the French Revolution

Jacques Cathelineau, Generalissimo of the Catholic and Royal Army, was a French Vendéan insurrection leader during the Revolution. He was known among his followers as the Saint of Anjou.

Tomb at Pere Lachaise Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise tombe d'Anne Louis Girodet Trioson.jpg
Tomb at Père Lachaise

Posthumously published work

Bust of the painter (1827) by Jean-Baptiste Roman, Louvre Girodet Roman Louvre CC182.jpg
Bust of the painter (1827) by Jean-Baptiste Roman, Louvre

Girodet produced a vast quantity of illustrations, amongst which may be cited those for the Didot editions of the works of Virgil (1798) and Racine (1801–1805). Fifty-four of his designs for the works of he ancient Greek poet Anacreon were engraved by M.  Châtillon. Girodet used much of his time on literary composition. His poem Le Peintre (rather a string of commonplaces), together with poor imitations of classical poets, and essays on Le Génie and La Grâce, were published posthumously in 1829, with a biographical notice by his friend Coupin de la Couperie. Delecluze, in his Louis David et son temps, has also a brief life of Girodet. [4] [1]

Virgil 1st-century BC Roman poet

Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.

Jean Racine French dramatist

Jean Racine, baptismal name Jean-Baptiste Racine, was a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France, along with Molière and Corneille, and an important literary figure in the Western tradition. Racine was primarily a tragedian, producing such "examples of neoclassical perfection" as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie. He did write one comedy, Les Plaideurs, and a muted tragedy, Esther for the young.

Girodet: Romantic Rebel at the Art Institute of Chicago (2006) was the first retrospective in the United States devoted to the works of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. The exhibition assembled more than 100 seminal works (about 60 paintings and 40 drawings) that demonstrated the artist's range as a painter as well as a draftsman. [6]

Analysis of the works

Girodet was trained in the neoclassical style of his teacher, Jacques-Louis David, seen in his treatment of the male nude body and his reference to models from the Renaissance and Classical antiquity. However, he also deviated from this style in several ways. The peculiarities which mark Girodet's position as the herald of the romantic movement are already evident in his Sleep of Endymion (1791, also called Effet de lune or "effect of the Moon"). [4] Although the subject matter and pose are inspired by classical precedents, Girodet's diffuse lighting is more theatrical and atmospheric. The androgynous depiction of the sleeping shepherd Endymion is also noteworthy. [7] These early romantic effects were even more notable in his Ossian, exhibited in 1802. Girodet portrayed recently killed Napoleonic soldiers being welcomed into Valhalla by the fictional bard Ossian. The painting is striking for its inclusion of phosphorescent meteors, vaporous luminosity, and spectral protagonists. [8]

The same coupling of classic and romantic elements marks Girodet's Danae (1799) and his Quatre Saisons, executed for the king of Spain (repeated for Compiègne), and shows itself to a ludicrous extent in his Fingal (Leuchtenberg collection, St. Petersburg), executed for Napoleon in 1802. Girodet can be seen here combining aspects of his classical training and traditional education with new literary trends, popular scientific spectacles, and a consummate interest in the strange and the bizarre. In this way his work announces the rise of a romantic aesthetic which prizes individuality, expression, and imagination over an adherence to classical academic precedents.

See also

Related Research Articles

Events in the year 1810 in Art.

Achille Devéria French painter

Achille Jacques-Jean-Marie Devéria was a French painter and lithographer known for his portraits of famous writers and artists. His younger brother was the Romantic painter Eugène Devéria, and two of his six children were Théodule Devéria and Gabriel Devéria.

Events in the year 1824 in Art.

Events in the year 1808 in Art.

Bon Boullogne French painter and engraver

Bon Boullogne was a French painter.

Events in the year 1806 in art.

Events from the year 1791 in art.

Louis Nicolas Philippe Auguste de Forbin French painter, director of the Louvre Museum

Louis Nicolas Philippe Auguste, comte de Forbin was the French painter and antiquary who succeeded Vivant Denon as curator of the Musée du Louvre and the other museums of France.

<i>The Coronation of Napoleon</i> painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David

The Coronation of Napoleon is a painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I at Notre-Dame de Paris. The painting has imposing dimensions, as it is almost 10 metres (33 ft) wide by a little over 6 metres (20 ft) tall. The work is held in the Louvre in Paris.

Jean-Baptiste Belley former slave from the French West Indies who became a member of the National Convention and the Council of Five Hundred of France

Jean-Baptiste Belley was a native of Senegal and former slave from Saint-Domingue in the French West Indies who during the period of the French Revolution became a member of the National Convention and the Council of Five Hundred of France. He was also known as Mars.

<i>Portrait of Pope Pius VII</i> painting by Jacques-Louis David

The Portrait of Pope Pius VII is an 1805 portrait of Pope Pius VII by the French painter Jacques-Louis David to thank the pope for assisting at the coronation of Napoleon I of France. Pope Pius appears in David's The Coronation of Napoleon, depicted as blessing the emperor, when in fact he was merely a spectator, assisting at the ceremony with a resigned expression throughout.

Robert Lefèvre French painter of portraits, history paintings and religious paintings

Robert Jacques François Faust Lefèvre was a French painter of portraits, history paintings and religious paintings. He was heavily influenced by Jacques-Louis David and his style is reminiscent of the antique.

Charles-Philippe Larivière French painter

Charles-Philippe Larivière was a French academic painter and lithographer.

<i>Bonaparte at the Pont dArcole</i> painting by Antoine-Jean Gros

Bonaparte at the Pont d’Arcole is a 1796 painting by Antoine-Jean Gros, showing an episode during the Battle of Arcole in November 1796, with General Napoleon Bonaparte leading his troops to storm the bridge.

Jean-Baptiste Roman sculptor

Jean-Baptiste Roman was a French sculptor. He was born and died in Paris. Among his works is a sculpture on the death of Cato the Younger, a theme that became popular along with revolutionary sentiment. It depicts Cato reading the Phaedo of Plato, on the death of Socrates, heroically nude as he contemplates his own death. The piece was commissioned in 1832 for the Louvre, but was finished by François Rude after his friend's death.

Jérôme-Martin Langlois French painter

Jerome-Martin Langlois was a French Neoclassical painter.

Gioacchino Giuseppe Serangeli was a Roman painter, a pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who painted in France during the period of the French Revolution and the subsequent First French Empire. For some time he was one of the more fashionable painters of portraits of the new ruling class in France. His more mature paintings, done after his return to Italy, were also well regarded.

Jean-Charles Nicaise Perrin French painter

Jean-Charles Nicaise Perrin was a French Neo-Classical painter, primarily of historical and Biblical scenes. During the Empire, he produced patriotic allegories.

Neoclassicism in France

Neoclassicism is a movement in architecture, design and the arts which was dominant in France between about 1760 to 1830. It emerged as a reaction to the frivolity and excessive ornament of the baroque and rococo styles. In architecture it featured sobriety, straight lines, and forms, such as the pediment and colonnade, based on Ancient Greek and Roman models. In painting it featured heroism and sacrifice in the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. It began late in the reign of Louis XV, became dominant under Louis XVI, and continued through the French Revolution, the French Directory, and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Bourbon Restoration until 1830, when it was gradually replaced as the dominant style by romanticism and eclecticism.

Napoleon I as Emperor painting by François Gérard

Napoleon I as Emperor, also known as Napoleon I in his Coronation Robes is an oil on canvas painting by the French artist François Gérard, produced in 1805 under the First French Empire. Gerard initially produced the painting as an official portrait of Napoleon I for his throne room at the Tuileries Palace. It was later moved to the Palace of Versailles. It spent time at in the Louvre Museum, at the Élysée Palace from 1849 to 1851 under the presidency of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, then at the Château de Saint-Cloud, and returned to Versailles in 1894.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Long, George. (1851) The Supplement to the Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, C. Knight.
  2. 1 2 Polet, Jean-Claude. (1992) Patrimoine littéraire européen, De Boeck Université. 730 pages. ISBN   2-8041-1526-7.
  3. Heck, Johann Georg. (1860) Iconographic Encyclopaedia of Science, D. Appleton and company.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Girodet de Roussy, Anne Louis". Encyclopædia Britannica . 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 48.
  5. Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson in the RKD
  6. "Girodet: Romantic Rebel". Art Institute of Chicago . Archived from the original on 23 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-19.
  7. Smalls, James (1996). "Making Trouble for Art History: The Queer Case of Girodet". Art Journal. 55 (4): 20–27. doi:10.2307/777650. JSTOR   777650.
  8. O'Rourke, Stephanie (2018). "Girodet's Galvanized Bodies". Art History. 41 (5): 868–893. doi:10.1111/1467-8365.12401.

Further reading