Henri Gervex - Encyclopedia




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HENRI GERVEX (1852-), French painter, was born in Paris on the 10th of December 1852, and studied painting under Cabanel, Brisset and Fromentin. His early work belonged almost exclusively to the mythological genre which served as an excuse for the painting of the nude - not always in the best of taste; indeed, his " Rolla " of 1878 was rejected by the jury of the Salon pour immoralite. He afterwards devoted himself to representations of modern life and achieved signal success with his " Dr Pean at the Salpetriere," a modernized paraphrase, as it were, of Rembrandt's " Anatomy Lesson." He was entrusted with several important official paintings and the decoration of public buildings. Among the first are " The Distribution of Awards (1889) at the Palais de l'Industrie " (now in the Versailles Museum), " The Coronation of Nicolas II." (Moscow, May 14, 1896), " The Mayors' Banquet " (1900), and the portrait group " La Republique Frangaise "; and among the second, the ceiling for the Salle des Fetes at the hotel de ville, Paris, and the decorative panels painted in conjunction with Blanchon for the mairie of the 19th arrondissement, Paris. He also painted, with Alfred Stevens, a panorama, " The History of the Century " (1889). At the Luxembourg is his painting " Satyrs playing with a Bacchante," as well as the large " Members of the Jury of the Salon " (1885). Other pictures of importance, besides numerous portraits in oils and pastel, are " Communion at Trinity Church," " Return from the Ball," " Diana and Endymion," " Job," " Civil Marriage," " At the Ambassadeurs," Yachting in the Archipelago," " Nana " and " Maternity."

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