Jules Joseph

France • 1834−1912
Jules Lefebvre (Fr. Jules Joseph Lefebvre; (March 14, 1834, Tournay - February 24, 1912, Paris) was a French salon artist and painter who specialized in depicting attractive women.

He received his initial art education in Amiens, was then a pupil of the French landscape painter Léon Cognet in Paris and made his first public appearance at the 1855 Paris World's Fair with a portrait of a man.

In 1861 he won the main Roman prize for his painting The Death of Priam, after which he painted in Rome: A Young Man Coloring a Tragic Mask, The Daughterly Love of a Roman Woman (1864), Pilgrimage to the Monastery of Sacro-Spaco, near Subiaco (1865), The Sleeping Young Girl (1865), The Nymph and the Bacchus Child (1866) and Pope Pius IX in the Cathedral of St. Peter (1867).

Returning to Paris, he soon occupied a very prominent place among French artists as a pleasant colorist and an elegant, though somewhat mannered draftsman, especially skilled in the depiction of female beauty and in portraits.

His best works since his arrival from Rome: "Truth," a figure of a naked young woman holding a radiant orb above her head (1870; at the Musée d'Orsay), "Dragonfly" (1872), "Pandora" (1877), "Mignon" (1878), "Diana with Nymphs, Caught at Bath" (1879), "Fiammetta" (1881), "Ondine" (1881), as well as portraits of the imperial prince (1874), Viscountess Montesquieu and others. The Hermitage has his painting Mary Magdalene in the Grotto (1876).
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