Gustave Moreau

Apr 6, 1826 - Apr 18, 1898

Gustave Moreau was an artist and an important figure in the Symbolist movement. Jean Cassou called him "the Symbolist painter par excellence." He was an influential forerunner of symbolism in the visual arts in the 1860s, and at the height of the symbolist movement in the 1890s, he was among the most significant painters. Art historian Robert Delevoy wrote that Moreau "brought symbolist polyvalence to its highest point in Jupiter and Semele" He was a prolific artist who produced over 15,000 paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Moreau painted allegories and traditional biblical and mythological subjects favored by the fine art academies. J. K. Huysmans wrote " Gustave Moreau has given new freshness to dreary old subjects by a talent both subtle and ample: he has taken myths worn out by the repetitions of centuries and expressed them in a language that is persuasive and lofty, mysterious and new." The female characters from the bible and mythology that he so frequently depicted came to be regarded by many as the archetypical symbolist woman.
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