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Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse

1859 Versailles – 1938 El Biar, Algeria

Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse was brought up by his mother and stepfather, the poet Théodore de Banville, who brought him into contact at an early age with such literary giants as Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert and Arthur Rimbaud. Rochegrosse was more interested in the fine arts than in poetry, however, and received his initial training in painting from Alfred Deho­dencq before continuing his studies at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. The artist first concentrated on large his­-
torical paintings which were regularly exhibited at the Paris Salons and earned him several prizes. The close relationship Rochegrosse enjoyed with his stepfather and his literary friends soon led him to take a keen interest in the illustration of books. In the 1880s he supplied numerous illustrations for works by Hugo and illustrated several publications by Flaubert, including Hérodias and Salammbô, as well as producing posters, for Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, for example. Rochegrosse cooperated more closely with his stepfather, Théodore de Banville (1823–1891), than with anyone else.