Pierre Narcisse Guérin France

5-13-1774 Paris, FRA – 7-6-1833 Rome, ITA

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Guérin, Pierre Narcisse

Pierre Narcisse Guérin was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste Regnault, he carried off one of the three grands prix offered in 1796. In 1799, his painting Marcus Sextus (Louvre) was exhibited at the Salon and excited wild enthusiasm.

Guérin on this occasion was publicly crowned by the president of the Institute, and went to Rome to study under Joseph-Benoît Suvée. In 1800, unable to remain in Rome on account of his health, he went to Naples, where he painted the Grave of Amyntas. In 1810, after his return to Paris, Pierre Narcisse Guérin again achieved a great success with Andromache and Pyrrhus (Louvre); and in the same year also exhibited Cephalus and Aurora (Louvre) and Bonaparte and the Rebels of Cairo (Versailles). These paintings suited the popular taste of the First Empire, being highly melodramatic and pompously dignified.

The Restoration brought to Guérin fresh honors; he had received from the first consul in 1803 the cross of the Legion of Honour, and in 1815 Louis XVIII named to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. His style changed to accord with popular taste.

Pierre Narcisse Guérin was commissioned to paint for the Madeleine a scene from the history of St Louis, but his health prevented him from accomplishing what he had begun, and in 1822 he accepted the post of director of the French Academy in Rome, which in 1816 he had refused. On returning to Paris in 1828, Guérin, who had previously been made chevalier of the order of St. Michel, was ennobled. He now attempted to complete Pyrrhus and Priam, a work which he had begun at Rome, but in vain; his health had finally broken down, and in the hope of improvement he returned to Italy with Horace Vernet.

Many artists studied with Guérin, among them Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, Ary and Hendrik Scheffer.

Art Movement: Neoclassicism
Influences: Jean-Baptiste Regnault, Joseph-Benoît Suvée
Traveled: Italy
Influenced: Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, Ary and Hendrik Scheffer.
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