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Jean-Léon Gérôme
French, 1824–1904
Danseuse á la Pomme (Dancer with an Apple), 1891
Gilt bronze
H. 13 3/4 in. x W. 4 in. x L. 7 in.
IUAM 94.84

Gérôme had his first success as a painter at the Salon of 1847. Six years earlier, he had left his native city of Vesoul to study in Paris, first with Paul Delaroche, then with Charles Gleyre. From then on, he was a success, receiving government commissions and honors, such as the Legion of Honor. He became a member of the Institut de France, a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, a visitor at the court of the Empress, the husband of a very rich woman, a popular teacher, and a very famous painter.

In 1878, at the age of fifty-four, he made another professional change. He sent a large bronze group, The Gladiators, to the Exposition Universelle, and it won a Medal of Honor. From then on, his time was spent on sculpture: he took advice and lessons from his old friend, Emmanuel Fremiet (1824–1910). In fact, as late as 1901, he listed himself in the sculpture section of the Salon catalogue as "student of M. Fremiet.''

Like most French sculptors of his time, Gérôme did his modeling in plaster. He made his plasters life-size, working close to the model so that he could compare and measure both the model and the plaster. Gérôme was so proud of his accuracy that he often had the plaster and the model photographed together so that their similarity could be marveled at. He enjoyed experimenting in ways to enhance his media: tinting his marbles to make them lifelike, mixing materials such as bronze, marble, and ivory to attain more sumptuous effects in his small bronzes.

La Danse or Danseuse á la Pomme was such a popular object at the Salon of 1891 that it was issued in three different sizes and in a choice of three different materials, marble, gilt bronze, or precous stone.

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