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Gros, Antoine-Jean, Baron

Antoine-Jean Gros, Baron (äNtwän´ zhäN bärôN´grō), 1771–1835, French painter. He studied with his father, a miniaturist, and with J.-L. David, whose classical theory he adopted. Napoleon appointed him painter of war campaigns, and his realistic treatment of this subject was much admired. In 1797 he was commissioned to select Italian masterpieces, the spoils of war, to enrich the Louvre. Between 1802 and 1808 he painted his best-known works, The Plague at Jaffa and The Battle of Eylau (both: Louvre) and The Battle of Aboukir (Versailles). His romantic treatment of color and the emotional tone of his works were at odds with the painter's professed classicism. His fame endured until, after the Restoration (see Restoration, in French history), he tried to reinstate the classical manner in his work. He failed and, condemned to obscurity, drowned himself in the Seine. Delacroix and Géricault were influenced by his vivid color and his sense of movement.

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