His mother’s death stopped him painting and turned him into a recluse for a while. He then painted his way through his grief.
A series of paintings of beautiful women, culminating in a large work featuring hundreds of female figures. The artist had one thing on his mind.
He had 11 paintings shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, in 1878, following which he was commissioned to paint over 60 watercolours.
Two paintings showing Salome. In one, she dances for Herod, and asks for the head of John the Baptist. In the other, she tries to stare out the severed head.
After some false starts, he finally re-established his reputation at the Salon, but was that work a political allegory?
He still couldn’t repeat his earlier success in the years running up to the Franco-Prussian War. But some paintings have been under-appreciated.
Two paintings of the buried dismemberment of a victim: one theatrical narrative, the other a serene reverie of anti-theatrical non-narrative. And an oriental witch.
He took the Salon of 1864 by storm, but was barely noticed with 2 more paintings the following year. Why?
Three major paintings, each very ambitious, but abandoned, reworked, and abandoned again, give insight into his progress in changing history painting.
Moreau’s extraordinary paintings have been described as Symbolist, Decadent, even Surrealist. They are notoriously difficult to read – here is some help.