A man with a classical art education and great knowledge in the field of art, Gustave Moreau became one of the leaders of the Symbolists - a movement that gained strength in the second half of the 19th century. Symbolists are often combined with decadents, but Moro’s work is difficult to attribute to any particular branch. His paintings use historical motifs, classic color combinations and avant-garde image techniques.
By birth, Gustave Moreau was a Parisian, where he was born in 1826 in a family that was quite close to art - his father was an architect. The future artist studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts, and already in 1849 began to exhibit at the Salon. He was interested in samples of historical painting and the work of old masters, so he made several trips to Italy, where he studied the preserved works of the best masters of the Renaissance.
His work was seriously influenced by the motives that were often used in the paintings of famous artists of the past - historical, biblical, legendary, fairy-tale, epic. From here the master drew ideas for his future canvases with a pronounced mystical beginning, characteristic of symbolism. However, unlike the classical motifs of the paintings, his image style was completely advanced, in the spirit of the times, with searches for special effects and author's handwriting.
Moro's work was recognized and appreciated by his contemporaries. In 1868, he became chairman of an art competition, and in 1875 his achievements in art were marked by the Order of the Legion of Honor - the highest award awarded for services to the French Republic.
The artist was fond of the classical art of Ancient Greece, very fond of oriental luxury, richly decorated utensils and utensils, rare expensive weapons, fabrics and carpets. In his canvases on mystical, biblical and historical motifs, he often used these objects of rare beauty, admiring their perfection and beautiful color scheme. The master’s painting is recognizable and quite specific, it uses a lot of bright colors, but by some miracle they manage not to become a colorful cluster of colors, but to give the impression of the integrity and unity of the image and its embodiment. The paintings are very expressive and impress with their mastery of color. Even well-known motifs from the Bible are interpreted by him in his own way, very individually and non-trivially.
In 1888, Gustave Moreau became a member of the French Academy of Arts, and in 1891 he began teaching as a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. Among those whom he taught, there are such famous masters as Henri Matisse, Odilon Redon, Georges Rouault and Gustave Pierre. It is believed that the picturesque works of Moreau had a very strong influence on the formation of Fauvism and surrealism.
Five years after the death of Gustave Moreau in 1898, a museum was organized in his Paris workshop. His works are in many museums in France and the world, including the Louvre.