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André Giroux

French, 1801 - 1879

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André Giroux was born in Paris in 1801. He had begun his studies with his father, a minor history painter, and made his debut at the Salon of 1819 when only eighteen years old. His earliest exhibits were urban genre scenes, but starting in 1822 he also submitted landscape studies from nature. In 1825 his competition entry on the subject of the Hunt of Meleager was awarded the Rome Prize for Historical Landscape, despite the fact that, unaffiliated with any of the leading academic teachers, Giroux had no influential backers. His fellow students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, members of the rising romantic generation that scorned classical landscape, used the award ceremony to stage a noisy protest. The scene was witnessed by Amaury-Duval, a pupil of Ingres, who recalled in his memoirs that the Rome Prize laureate fled sobbing into his father's arms, pursued by the jeers of the audience. During his long stay in Italy (1825-1830), Giroux became associated with a group of young landscape painters that included Edouard Bertin (1797-1871), Théodore-Caruelle d'Aligny (1798-1871), and Léon Fleury (1804-1858), and made the acquaintance of Camille Corot (1796-1875), to whose landscape studies painted in the environs of Rome Giroux' own open-air sketches bear some resemblance. Like Corot, he sent a composed Italian landscape to the Salon of 1827 but at the same time submitted his more spontaneous studies tainted from nature in the Roman Campagna. His View of Casa Prota in the Sabine Hills won a gold medal at the Salon of 1831. Thereafter he continued as a regular exhibitor at the Salon until 1874, concentrating during the 1830s and 1840s on Italian subjects composed in the studio with the help of naturalistically observed detail studies gathered out-of-doors. In his later years, Giroux reverted to French landscapes and, having made the transition from Arcadian classicism to naturalism in Italian settings, ventured further toward modernity with paintings of industrial sites. [This is the artist's biography published in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]

Artist Bibliography

André Giroux, 1801-1879. Auction catalogue, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 27 April 1870, comprising 150 paintings by Giroux.
Eitner, Lorenz. French Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I: Before Impressionism. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 2000: 264.

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