ELIE DELAUNAY (1828-1891), French painter, was born at Nantes and studied under Flandrin and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He worked in the classicist manner of Ingres until, after winning the Prix de Rome, he went to Italy in 1856, and abandoned the ideal of Raphaelesque perfection for the sincerity and severity of the quattrocentists. As a pure and firm draughtsman he stands second only to Ingres. After his return from Rome he was entrusted with many important commissions for decorative paintings, such as the frescoes in the church of St Nicholas at Nantes; the three panels of "Apollo," "Orpheus" and "Amphion" at the Paris opera-house; and twelve paintings for the great hall of the council of state in the Palais Royal. His "Scenes from the Life of St Genevieve," which he designed for the Pantheon, remained unfinished at his death. The Luxembourg Museum has his famous "Plague in Rome" and a nude figure of "Diana"; and the Nantes Museum, the "Lesson on the Flute." In the last decade of his life he achieved great popularity as a portrait painter.
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