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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824-1904 : a study of a mid-nineteenth century French academic artist Watson, Donald Scott


This thesis is not a monograph on Gerome. Rather it is an analysis of selected paintings and the themes that occur in them. My approach has been iconological, as subject-matter was, for Gerome, the most important aspect of painting. But I have also endeavoured to tie a formal analysis of Gerome's art to its content. Chapter I contains a brief biographical sketch, as most of this information is readily available elsewhere this chapter is quite brief. Chapter II deals with Gerome's neo-greco painting, both for its own sake and to introduce my thesis--that Gerome's painting is an extension of his role as collector and that the world he creates is an extension of the nineteenth-century French interieur. Chapter III continues and expands on this argument and deals with Gerome's ethnographic work and attempts to explain his use of a photographic style. Chapter IV deals with Gerome's serious history paintings and relates them to historiographic discourse in nineteenth-century France. Chapter V, the conclusion, summarizes my arguments.

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