Gustave Boulanger

(Paris 1824 – id. 1888)

Boulanger was one of the best representatives of Neo-Greek art and was highly successful with his historical and archaeological reconstructions. In Delaroche’s studio, Boulanger met Henri-Pierre Picou, Jean-Louis Hamon and Jean-Léon Gérôme. After winning the Prix de Rome in 1848, Boulanger spent six years in Rome where he was fascinated by archaeological research. For Boulanger, Greco-Roman antiquity was no longer conceived as the severe school of Neoclassical virtue; for him it was an unlimited repertoire of forms and colours. He treated the themes of antiquity with great decorative fantasy, while including multiple archaeological details. His style is marked by a love of the lurid and bright colours with an almost metallic sheen.