Gerome's Two Demands

Jean-Léon Gérôme in his studio
According to Edouard Cucuel, the great academic master Jean-Léon Gérôme demanded two things of his pupils before they started to paint: "That they lay on a red or yellow tone, and that they keep their brushes scrupulously clean. Woe to him who disobeys."

As the master made the rounds commenting on student work, the model had to hold the pose, no matter how difficult, for up to two straight hours until the criticism was over.

Gérôme was a severe taskmaster, but he was also known for his geniality and kindliness, which appeared after the criticism, when the students showed their sketches and studies made outside the École des Beaux-Arts.
From "Bohemian Paris of To-Day" by Edouard Cucuel, page 52-3.

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