Georges Rochegrosse (1859-1938) was a French artist born in Versailles who became a Salon artist in 1882 and in 1883 won the prestigious Prix de Salon.
The internationally acclaimed Salon painter Rochegrosse was best known for his Orientalist subjects, which he executed with archaeological accuracy and sumptuous color. Based on first-hand knowledge of Near Eastern architecture and artifacts, which he studied on several visits to Egypt and North Africa, Rochegrosse’s historical genre scenes have a convincing air of reality. Frequently, literary or historical sources serve as pretexts for sensational and titillating images. In Salome Dancing, inspired by the biblical account of the death of St. John the Baptist, minute details of setting and human physiognomy encourage the viewer to share with the painted audience the lithe dancer’s provocative performance.
He was elected an Officer of Legion of Honour (“Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur”) in 1892 and received the Medal of Honour in 1906 for his work. Several of his works are exhibited in leading French museums such as Musée D’Orsay in Paris, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen and Musée de Picardie in Amiens. Among his finest and best known paintings are Andromaque, painted in 1882-83 which won the Prix de Salon and Le Chevalier aux Fleurs (The Knight of Flowers), probably his best known work which hangs in the D’Orsay Museum, painted in 1894. He is known for dramatic and often brutal historical works on classical or historical subjects.