Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (or de Roucy), also known as Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (29 January 1767 – 9 December 1824),[1] was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who participated in the early Romantic movement by including elements of eroticism in his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
Anne-Louis Girodet autoportrait
Self-portrait, 1790, Hermitage Museum
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

29 January 1767
Died9 December 1824 (aged 57)
Paris, France
Resting placePère Lachaise Cemetery
Known forPainting
Notable work
Ossian receiving the ghosts of the fallen French Heroes, 1801; The Funeral of Atala, 1808; Portrait de Chateaubriand méditant sur les ruines de Rome, after 1808
MovementClassicism, Romanticism

Early Career

Girodet was born at Montargis. Both of his parents died when he was a young adult. The care of his inheritance and education fell to his guardian, a prominent physician named Benoît-François Trioson, "médecin-de-mesdames", who later adopted him. The two men remained close throughout their lives and Girodet took the surname Trioson in 1812.[1] In school he first studied architecture and pursued a military career.[2] He changed to the study of painting under a teacher named Luquin and then entered the school of Jacques-Louis David. At the age of 22 he successfully competed for the Prix de Rome with a painting of the Story of Joseph and his Brethren.[2][3] From 1789 to 1793 he lived in Italy and while in Rome he painted his Hippocrate refusant les presents d'Artaxerxes and Endymion-dormant (now in the Louvre), a work which gained him great acclaim at the Salon of 1793 and secured his reputation as a leading painter in the French school.

Une Scène de Déluge Girodet
A Deluge Scene (Une scène de déluge), 1806, Louvre, Paris
Girodet - Sommeil Endymion
The Sleep of Endymion (Le Sommeil d'Endymion or Effet de lune), 1791, Louvre

Once he returned to France, Girodet painted many portraits, including some of members of the Bonaparte family. In 1806, in competition with the Sabines of David, he exhibited his Scène de déluge (Louvre), which was awarded the decennial prize.[1] In 1808 he produced the Reddition de Vienne and Atala au tombeau, a work which won immense popularity, by its fortunate choice of subject – François-René de Chateaubriand's novel Atala, first published in 1801 – and its remarkable departure from the theatricality of Girodet's usual manner. He would return to his theatrical style in La Révolte du Caire (1810).[4]

Later life

Girodet Autoportrait
Self-portrait from 1824, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans
Atala au tombeau,1808,Girodet de Roussy -Trioson, Louvre.
The Funeral of Atala (Funérailles d'Atala or Atala au tombeau), 1808, Louvre

Girodet was a member of the Academy of Painting and of the Institut de France, a knight of the Order of Saint Michael, and officer of the Legion of Honour.[1] Among his pupils were Hyacinthe Aubry-Lecomte, Augustin Van den Berghe the Younger, François Edouard Bertin, Angélique Bouillet, Alexandre-Marie Colin, Marie Philippe Coupin de la Couperie, Henri Decaisne, Paul-Emile Destouches, Achille Devéria, Eugène Devéria, Savinien Edme Dubourjal, Joseph Ferdinand Lancrenon, Antonin Marie Moine, Jean Jacques François Monanteuil, Henry Bonaventure Monnier, Rosalie Renaudin, Johann Heinrich Richter, François Edme Ricois, Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury, and Philippe Jacques Van Brée.[5]

In his forties his powers began to fail, and his habit of working at night and other excesses weakened his constitution. In the Salon of 1812 he exhibited only a Tête de Vierge; in 1819 Pygmalion et Galatée showed a further decline of strength. In 1824, the year in which he produced his portraits of Cathelineau and Bonchamps, Girodet died on December 9 in Paris.[4] At a sale of his effects after his death, some of his drawings realized enormous prices.[1]

Cimetière du Père Lachaise tombe d'Anne Louis Girodet Trioson
Tomb at Père Lachaise

Posthumously published work

Girodet Roman Louvre CC182
Bust of the painter (1827) by Jean-Baptiste Roman, Louvre

Girodet produced a vast quantity of illustrations, amongst which may be cited those for the Didot editions of the works of Virgil (1798) and Racine (1801–1805). Fifty-four of his designs for the works of he ancient Greek poet Anacreon were engraved by M.  Châtillon. Girodet used much of his time on literary composition. His poem Le Peintre (rather a string of commonplaces), together with poor imitations of classical poets, and essays on Le Génie and La Grâce, were published posthumously in 1829, with a biographical notice by his friend Coupin de la Couperie. Delecluze, in his Louis David et son temps, has also a brief life of Girodet.[4][1]

Girodet: Romantic Rebel at the Art Institute of Chicago (2006) was the first retrospective in the United States devoted to the works of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. The exhibition assembled more than 100 seminal works (about 60 paintings and 40 drawings) that demonstrated the artist's range as a painter as well as a draftsman.[6]

Analysis of the works

Girodet was trained in the neoclassical style of his teacher, Jacques-Louis David, seen in his treatment of the male nude body and his reference to models from the Renaissance and Classical antiquity. However, he also deviated from this style in several ways. The peculiarities which mark Girodet's position as the herald of the romantic movement are already evident in his Sleep of Endymion (1791, also called Effet de lune or "effect of the Moon").[4] Although the subject matter and pose are inspired by classical precedents, Girodet's diffuse lighting is more theatrical and atmospheric. The androgynous depiction of the sleeping shepherd Endymion is also noteworthy.[7] These early romantic effects were even more notable in his Ossian, exhibited in 1802. Girodet portrayed recently killed Napoleonic soldiers being welcomed into Valhalla by the fictional bard Ossian. The painting is striking for its inclusion of phosphorescent meteors, vaporous luminosity, and spectral protagonists.[8]

The same coupling of classic and romantic elements marks Girodet's Danae (1799) and his Quatre Saisons, executed for the king of Spain (repeated for Compiègne), and shows itself to a ludicrous extent in his Fingal (Leuchtenberg collection, St. Petersburg), executed for Napoleon in 1802. Girodet can be seen here combining aspects of his classical training and traditional education with new literary trends, popular scientific spectacles, and a consummate interest in the strange and the bizarre. In this way his work announces the rise of a romantic aesthetic which prizes individuality, expression, and imagination over an adherence to classical academic precedents.


Girodet Brutus 1785

Brutus condemns his sons to death (Brutus condamne ses fils à mort), 1785

Jacques-Louis David - Oath of the Horatii - Google Art Project

The Oath of the Horatii (Le Serment des Horaces, copy after David's original), 1786, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio

Girodet La mort de Tatius

The Death of Tatius (La mort de Tatius), 1788, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers

Girodet Joseph reconnu par ses frères

Joseph recognized by his brothers (Joseph reconnu par ses frères), 1789, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson - Portrait d'une jeunesse

Portrait of a Youth (Portrait d'une jeunesse), c. 1795, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts

Longchamp081 Girodet Fravega

Portrait of Giuseppe Fravega (ministre of the Ligurian Republic in Paris), 1796, Musée des beaux-arts de Marseille

Benoît Agnès Trioson by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, 1797

Benoît-Agnès Trioson regardant des figures dans un livre, 1797, Musée Girodet, Montargis

Anne-Louis Girodet De Roucy-Trioson - Portrait of J. B. Belley, Deputy for Saint-Domingue - WGA09508

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley, Deputy for Saint-Domingue, 1797, Palace of Versailles

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson - Portrait of Mlle. Lange as Danae - 69.22 - Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Mademoiselle Lange as Danaë, 1799, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota

The Meeting of Orestes and Hermione

The Meeting of Orestes and Hermione, c. 1800

Anne-Louis Girodet De Roucy-Trioson - Benoît-Agnes Trioson - WGA09505

Benoît-Agnes Trioson, 1800, Louvre, Paris

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson 001

Ossian receiving the Ghosts of the French Heroes, c. 1801, Château de Malmaison

Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson - Portrait de Napoleon I (Versailles)

Napoleon Bonaparte, Premier Consul, Palais de l'Elysée

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson 005

Portrait of Dominique-Jean Larrey (military surgeon in Napoleon's army), 1804, Louvre

Portrait of the Katchef Dahouth, Christian Mameluke, 1804, by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson - Art Institute of Chicago - DSC09533

Portrait of the Katchef Dahouth, Christian Mameluke, 1804, Art Institute of Chicago

Study for "Portrait of an Indian" MET DP135221

Study for Portrait of an Indian, c. 1807, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Madame Erneste Bioche de Misery by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson

Madame Erneste Bioche de Misery, 1807, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson 006

Portrait de Chateaubriand méditant sur les ruines de Rome, 1808, Musée d'Histoire de la Ville et du Pays Malouin, Saint-Malo

Hortense de Beauharnais

Portrait of Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, wife of King Louis Napoleon, c. 1809, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson - Esquisse pour ‚La révolte du Caire‘ (ca. 1809)

Sketch for The Revolt at Cairo, c. 1809, Cleveland Museum of Art

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson - La révolte du Caire (ca. 1810)

The Revolt of Cairo, oil and Indian ink on paper, c. 1810, Art Institute of Chicago

Napoleon I (by Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson)

Napoleon I in Coronation Robes (Napoléon en costume impérial), c. 1812, Bowes Museum, England

Anne-Louis Girodet - Portrait de Prosper de Barante

Portrait of Prosper de Barante, 1814, Musée d'art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson - Allegory of Victory, 1814

Allegory of Victory, c. 1815, Château de Compiègne

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson - Aurora, 1814-15

Aurora, c. 1815, Château de Compiègne

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson - Minerva between Apollo and Mercury, 1814-15

Minerva between Apollo and Mercury, c. 1815, Château de Compiègne


Jacques Cathelineau, généralissime vendéen, 1816, Musée d'art et d'histoire de Cholet


Charles-Melchior Arthus, Marquis de Bonchamps, 1816, Musée d'art et d'histoire de Cholet

Girodet Pygmalion

Pygmalion et Galatée, 1819, Château de Dampierre

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson - Tête d'une femme dans un turban

Head of a Woman in a Turban, c. 1820, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Girodet Madame Reiset

Portrait de Madame Reizet assise, 1820

Madame Jacques-Louis-Étienne Reizet (Colette-Désirée-Thérèse Godefroy, 1782–1850) MET DP135222

Madame Jacques-Louis-Étienne Reizet, 1823, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jacques-Joseph de Cathelineau

Portrait of Jacques-Joseph de Cathelineau (1787–1832), son of the généralissime

Capaneus – Study called The Blasphemic (Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson) - Nationalmuseum - 183684

Capaneus, Leader of The Seven against Thebes (Tête du Blasphémateur), study for Les sept chefs devant Thèbes, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

François-René de Chateaubriand by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy Trioson

Undated portrait of François-René de Chateaubriand

Girodet - Docteur Trioson montargis

Portrait du Docteur Trioson donnant une leçon de géographie à son fils, undated, Musée Girodet, Montargis

Anne-Louis Girodet De Roucy-Trioson - Portrait of Joachim Murat - WGA09511

Portrait of Joachim Murat (?), Hermitage Museum

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Long, George. (1851) The Supplement to the Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, C. Knight.
  2. ^ a b Polet, Jean-Claude. (1992) Patrimoine littéraire européen, De Boeck Université. 730 pages. ISBN 2-8041-1526-7.
  3. ^ Heck, Johann Georg. (1860) Iconographic Encyclopaedia of Science, D. Appleton and company.
  4. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Girodet de Roussy, Anne Louis" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 48.
  5. ^ Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson in the RKD
  6. ^ "Girodet: Romantic Rebel". Art Institute of Chicago. Archived from the original on 23 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-19.
  7. ^ Smalls, James (1996). "Making Trouble for Art History: The Queer Case of Girodet". Art Journal. 55 (4): 20–27. doi:10.2307/777650. JSTOR 777650.
  8. ^ O'Rourke, Stephanie (2018). "Girodet's Galvanized Bodies". Art History. 41 (5): 868–893. doi:10.1111/1467-8365.12401.

Further reading

External links

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Auguste Hervieu

Auguste Jean Jacques Hervieu (born 1794?; active 1819–1858) was a French painter and book illustrator, working in London.

Charles-Auguste van den Berghe

Charles-Auguste van den Berghe (1798–1853), was a French painter.

He was born in Beauvais as the son of Augustin van den Berghe and became the pupil of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson.He died in Paris.

Charles-Frédéric Soehnée

Charles-Frédéric Soehnée (Born 3. November 1789 in Landau in der Pfalz as Carl-Friederich Söhne; died 1. May 1878 in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais in Paris) was a French painter. He was the fourth child of merchant Jacques Frédéric Soehnée and Caroline Wilhelmine (née Krueger).

In 1797 his family founded the company "Soehnée l'aîné & Cie". Their factories were located in the cities of Mulhouse, Colmar and Munster in Alsace. Their headquarters were in Paris where Soehnée eventually moved with his family.

In Paris Soehnée studied under the neoclassical painter Anne Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. His classmate and friend Pierre Louis de Laval (1790-1842) painted a portrait of him in 1812. In 1818, he executed more a group of than one hundred drawings, watercolors, and at least one lithograph, most of which depict grotesque scenes of imaginary beasts and travelers against the backdrop of desert landscapes.Soehnée researched and studied the techniques of the old masters, culminating in a technical treatise published in 1822 where he disputed the commonly held belief that Jan van Eyck invented oil painting. In it, he argued that the a mixture of encaustic and varnish could be the only explanation for the existence of much older paintings.

Soehnée went on to make a varnish and co-found the company Soehnée Frères in 1829 with one of his brothers, and became wealthy as a result. As far as is known, he never painted again after 1818.

Soehnée possessed a collection of drawings from Baroque painter Joseph Parrocel (1646–1704), which are now owned by the Louvre.

Jean-Baptiste Belley

Jean-Baptiste Belley (c. July 1746 – August 1805) was a native of Senegal and former slave from Saint-Domingue in the French West Indies who during the period of the French Revolution became a member of the National Convention and the Council of Five Hundred of France. He was also known as Mars.

Jean Joseph Vaudechamp

Jean Joseph Vaudechamp (1790–1866) was a French painter born in Rambervillers, Vosges. He was a pupil of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson.

Louis Stanislas Marin-Lavigne

Louis Stanislas Marin-Lavigne (1797 - 1860) was a French painter and lithographer. Many of his lithographs today are in major collections in London and New York City.He obtained his first instruction in painting from Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, and from 1814 to 1819, followed the courses of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He first exhibited both as a painter and lithographer in 1824. His best known work, ' The Extreme Unction,' painted in 1824, was reported to be in the collection of M. Dussommerard in the mid-1860s. Amongst his other original works may be cited, 'The Obsequies of the Kings of the ancient Egyptians,' and 'Gaspar Netscher and his Daughter, which are in the gallery at Dresden. His lithographs after eminent painters, old and modern, are too numerous to mention. He obtained a second-class medal in 1840.

Marie-Philippe Coupin de la Couperie

Marie-Philippe Coupin de la Couperie (1773, Sèvres - 1851, Versailles) was a French painter of the Troubadour style. He was a friend of the painter Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson.

Among his patrons were Joséphine de Beauharnais, who bought his The Tragic Love of Francesca da Rimini for her gallery at Château de Malmaison. He became professor of drawing at two French military schools: the Prytanée National Militaire and then the Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr.

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