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Marguerite Gérard
""Dumont - Marguerite Gérard.jpg
Marguerite Gérard, by "François Dumont
Born (1761-01-28)28 January 1761[1]
"Grasse, "France
Died 18 May 1837(1837-05-18) (aged 76)
"Paris, "France
Nationality "French
Known for "painting, "etching
Style "Genre art

Marguerite Gérard (28 January 1761 in "Grasse – 18 May 1837 in "Paris)[1] was a "French painter and etcher. She was the daughter of Marie Gilette and "perfumer Claude Gérard. At 8 years old she became the "sister-in-law of "Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and when she was 14, she came to live with him. She was also the aunt of the artist "Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard. Gérard became Fragonard's pupil in the mid-1770s and studied painting, drawing and printmaking under his tutelage. She appears to have executed five etchings in 1778 in collaboration with the master.[2]


Personal life[edit]

Upon the death of her mother in 1775, Marguerite Gérard took up residence in the "Louvre with her sister and her sister's husband Jean-Honoré Fragonard. She lived in the Louvre for approximately thirty years, allowing her to view and be inspired by great artworks of the past and present.[3] Of particular interest to Gérard were the "genre scenes of the "Dutch Golden Age which she would emulate in her own work. She was offered a spot at the "Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture but turned it down.[4] Her association with Fragonard's circle allowed Gérard the freedom to remain unmarried without becoming a financial burden to herself or her parents; this allowed her to devote herself to art.[5] Speculation that Gérard and Fragonard were lovers has been thoroughly disproved, and Gérard referred to the older artist as a father figure.[3]


Marguerite Gérard began her work as an artist in the 1770s while living in Paris. Her earliest compositions are etchings and engravings, while her later and more renowned works are oil paintings.[6] Her artwork depicts scenes in everyday life, a style known as "genre painting. Her works were exhibited in the "Paris Salon beginning in the 1790s and garnered the attention of wealthy patrons.[7]


Gérard became interested in art while living with her sister, "Marie-Anne Fragonard, and brother-in-law, "Jean-Honoré Fragonard, in Paris. She became an unofficial apprentice of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, working in collaboration with him to create her first pieces of work.[6] Gérard started her career by etching and engraving copies of Fragonard's paintings; soon after, she began to create her own genre paintings.[6] The depiction of everyday life in the artwork closely resembles the style of "Gerard Ter Borch and "Gabriel Metsu, Dutch artists from the seventeenth century.[6] Much like these Dutch artists, Gérard painted meticulous details using finely blended brushstrokes.[7]

The Clemency of Napoleon (1806)


As a genre artist, Gérard focused on portraying scenes of intimate domestic life. Domestic cats and dogs also show up repeatedly in Gérard's work. Many of her paintings illustrate the experiences of motherhood and childhood within the home, and several emphasize the importance of music and female companionship.[6]

Reception and recognition[edit]

Gérard was one of the better-known women artists during her time. Despite her lack of formal training, she won three medals for her artwork.[4] One of her paintings, The Clemency of Napoleon, was purchased by Emperor "Napoleon in 1808.[6] Other patrons include Louis XVII and various members of the upper class.[4] Wealthy collectors purchased original paintings to display in their homes, while engravings of her paintings were spread among the middle class.[7] Both the impressive technique and relatable subject matter led Gérard's artwork to become popular with the people of France.



  1. ^ a b Sardou, J. B. (1865). Inventaire sommaire des Archives communales antérieures à 1790, ville de Grasse. Paul Dupont. p. 11. Retrieved 12 May 2009. Acte de naissance de mademoiselle Marguerite Gérard, peintre, décédée en 1832, le 1er janvier : « Le 28 janvier 1761, est née et a été baptisée Marguerite Gérard, fille du sieur Claude Gillette Gérard, marchand parfumeur, et de dame Marie, son épouse; le parrain a été Honoré Isnard, négociant, la marraine demoiselle Marguerite Gazagnaire, son épouse » .
    Note that contrary to all other sources, the given death date is 1 January 1832, not 18 May 1837.
  2. ^ Rena M. Hoisington and Perrin Stein, "Sous les yeux de Fragonard: The Prints of Marguerite Gérard," Print Quarterly, XXIX, no. 2, 2012, pp. 142-162.
  3. ^ a b Robertson, Sarah Wells. "Gérard, Marguerite". Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Marguerite Gérard (1761-1837, French) - THE GREAT CAT". THE GREAT CAT. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  5. ^ Nochlin, Linda; Harris, Ann Sutherland (1977). Women Artists 1550-1950 (1st ed.). Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. p. 197. "ISBN "9780394733265. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Royalists to Romantics: Spotlight on Marguerite Gérard". Broad Strokes: The National Museum of Women in the Arts' Blog. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  7. ^ a b c "Marguerite Gérard | National Museum of Women in the Arts". Retrieved 2017-03-17. 


External links[edit]

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