6 April 1826, Paris – 18 April 1898, Paris
Gustave Moreau was a French Symbolist painter known for his erotic paintings of mythological and religious subjects, whose main emphasis was the illustration of biblical and mythological figures.
Moreau’s Oedipus and the Sphinx,
and Dance of Salome (c. 1876)
show his work becoming increasingly concerned with exotic eroticism and violence, and his richly crowded canvases made greater use of dramatic lighting to heighten his brilliant, jewel-like colours.
His last work, Jupiter and Sémélé, is the culmination of such tendencies.
Moreau’s art has often been described as decadent. He made a number of technical experiments, including scraping his canvases; and his nonfigurative paintings, done in a loose manner with thick impasto, have led him to be called a herald of Abstract Expressionism.
Jason and Medea
During his lifetime, Moreau produced more than 8,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings, many of which are on display in Paris’ Musée national Gustave Moreau.
The museum is in his former workshop, and began operation in 1903.
Venus Rising from the Sea
Song of Songs （Cantique des Cantiques)