Gustave Moreau is a great painter of the 19th century who worked in the style of Symbolism, who devoted his life to the search for a high spiritual ideal and its reflection in painting. The paintings of Gustave Moreau are a harmonious interweaving of mythological and religious images, the author’s deep reflections on the essence of life, secret and mysterious signs hidden in the smallest details of the image, the author’s unique palette.
Gustave Moreau was born on 04/06/1826, in the capital of France, in a wealthy family of a leading urban architect and talented musician. Parents encouraged their son’s early awakening craving for an easel and brush. Young Gustave Moreau received his classical art education under the guidance of the famous Francois Picot. Then he became a student and friend of the outstanding master of the romantic movement Theodore Chasseriau, who had a huge influence on the creative development of his young follower. Thanks to the petition of his father, the young man got the opportunity to visit the Louvre and work there as a copyist of paintings.
Gustave Moreau in 1852 received from his father a magnificent mansion in the center of Paris. The future great Symbolist equips a workshop there and begins to create in an atmosphere of comfort and complete solitude. The stormy events of the era did not bother the young man.
An erudite young man with a rich imagination, a talented painter, a subtle connoisseur of fine arts plunged into a world of fantasies and dreams. He does not work for the general public, but creates works that reflect his own vision of the world. They are understandable only to the refined elite, able to understand the complex interweaving of religious and mythological allegories, to discern mysterious symbols in images, to understand the spiritual throwing of the master, to appreciate the subtle play of light and shadow, mysterious flicker and play of colors, bold experiments with color.
Gustave Moreau travels a lot, visits Italy twice.
There he studies the heritage of the Renaissance, inspired by the works of the great Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli. While traveling, he meets young Edgar Degas. After these trips, his style was finally formed, filled with ideas of romanticism combined with features of academic drawing. In 1862, Gustave Moreau’s father dies. He is left alone with his mother, who has devoted the rest of her days to caring for her son. In the personal life of a genius, there was only one love story for a woman. His beloved and muse for a long 27 years was the governess Alexandrine Dureux. There was no talk of a wedding. He was only interested in creativity, recognition and fame.
Gustave Moreau headed the jury of the prestigious competition.
In 1875 he was awarded the main national order of France. In 1888 he was elected to the Academy of Arts, and in 1891 received a professor’s degree. Gustave Moreau did not show any unfinished works to anyone, rarely exhibited and sold finished works. He bequeathed to convert his house into a museum. Today, it exhibits over 1200 masterpieces of the master. The master died on April 18, 1898 and was buried next to his parents in the necropolis of Montmartre.
Every year the works of Gustave Moreau became more complex, filled with details and decorations. He carefully mixed colors, achieving a unique shimmering effect. The genius said: “Turn to the great masters. They don’t teach us how to create poor art. ”