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Antoine-Jean Gros

Born: Paris, 16 March 1771
Died: Paris, 25 June 1835
Nationality: French

Son of miniature painters Jean-Antoine Gros and Madeleine-Cécile Durand


With his parents

Often visited Elisabeth Vigée LeBrun’s studio

With Jacques-Louis David (1785-93); Académie Royale (1787-93)


1792 – finalist in Prix de Rome competition with Antiochus Attempting to Prevent Eleazar from Eating an Impure Dish (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Saint-Lo)

1793 –French Academy in Rome closes due to anti-French demonstrations; Gros and Anne-Louis Girodet lodge together in Genoa

1796 –meets Napoleon and Josephine; begins series of propagandistic Bonaparte commissions; Napoleon appoints Gros to committee inspecting art works from conquered cities for inclusion in the Louvre

1801-1835 – exhibits regularly at Paris Salon

1809 – marries painter Augustine Dufresne

1814 – Bourbon restoration; appointed Portrait Painter to Louis XVIII; paintings of Napoleon removed from public exhibition

1815 – Gros becomes member of Institut de France

1824 – ennobled (baron) by Charles X based on frescoes for Panthéon cupola of Clovis, Charlemagne, Louix IX, Louis XVIII (begun 1812)

1830 – July Revolution; Gros's Napoleon paintings return to public view

1835 – Gros drowns himself in the Seine river following negative reception at 1838 Salon


Antoine-Louis Barye, Richard Parkes Bonington, Thomas Couture, Paul Delaroche, and Paul Huet


Genoa (1793-1800), also visits Florence and Milan

Commissions from: 

Napoleon Bonaparte

Louis XVIII (King of France)

Charles X (King of France)

Important Artworks: 

Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcole, 1801  (Château de Versailles)

Battle of the Pyramids, 1810 (Château de Versailles)

Bacchus Consoling Ariadne on the Island of Naxos, 1821 (National  Gallery, Ottawa)

Web Resources

smarthistory: Napoleon in the Pesthouse at Jaffa