This note card features the image The Two Majesties by Jean-Leon Gerome, 1883. The original work is part of the Milwaukee Art Museum collection.
A highly esteemed Salon painter and respected professor at the ecole des Beaux-Arts, Jean-Leon Gerome embodied the artistic establishment of late-nineteenth-century Paris. Like Delacroix and Chasseriau before him, Gerome recorded the daily life and customs of the people and places he saw on his many travels to North Africa and the Near East with the zeal of an ethnographer. This painting is remarkable for its quiet solemnity. A huge, solitary lion, the king of the beasts, gazes across the seemingly endless terrain at the majestic setting sun, thus explaining the romantic title. The eerie grandeur is dramatized by the lion's profile, the single vertical element, against the horizontal planes of the desert.
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