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Definition: Moreau, Gustave from Philip's Encyclopedia

French painter and a leading practitioner of symbolism. His pictures are sensuous and notable for their use of jewel-like colours. Although Moreau spent much of his life in seclusion, he was professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.


Summary Article: Moreau, Gustave from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French painter. A leading Symbolist, he created a strange, exotic world – of biblical or mythological scenes haunted by images of dangerous, seductive women – painted in rich, jewel-like colours. Salome Dancing Before Herod (1876; Musée Moreau, Paris) is one of his best-known works.

In his Romantic fascination with mystery and exoticism, and in particular with the femme fetale, Moreau is seen as typical of late 19th-century decadence.

Born in Paris, he studied with Picot and was strongly influenced by the works of Delacroix, particularly those that expressed the current taste for orientalism. He exhibited regularly at the Salon, and towards the end of his life he became an influential teacher at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Matisse, Marquet, and Rouault being among his pupils.

Among his best-known works are the Athenians with the Minotaur (1855), Oedipus and the Sphinx (1864), Galatea (1880), and Moses on the Nile (1878).

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