Jean-Alphonse Roehn: La Danse Improvisée
Roehn's introduction to art came from his father, Adolphe-Eugène-Gabriel Roehn (1780-1867), who survived him by three years and was a successful genre painter, recording both domestic life and contemporary events and also producing a handful of troubadour paintings and many portraits. Jean-Alphonse initially had higher ambitions. He left his father to enter the École des Beaux Arts at the age of fourteen, joining the studios of Regnault and Baron Gros. Although his first exhibited works were ambitious religious subjects (for the Church of Saint Thomas Aquinas) by 1827 he had abandoned such elevated themes for more prosaic subjects from every day life. Throughout his long career he exhibited at the Salon almost annually, showing the occasional portrait or history painting but concentrating primarily on genre subjects.