Jean-Léon Gérôme: The End of the Sitting
Jean-Léon Gérôme was one of the most famous French painters of his day. In the course of his long career, he was the subject of controversy and bitter criticism, in particular for defending the conventions of the waning genre of Academic painting, under attack by Realists and Impressionists.
Gérôme's fascination with the act of sculpting, with the sculptor's mastery of material and the ability to give it form, drew him to the myth of Pygmalion bringing life to Galatea. This was the image he used when portraying himself as a sculptor in The End of the Sitting, creating an interplay between the redundant presence of the living model and the statue that is taking shape. His works closely combine references from classical mythology with the contingent reality of his studio. [Gandalf’s Gallery]