Swiss painter, active mainly in Paris, where he enjoyed a successful career, particularly with anecdotal scenes, sometimes in an antique setting, and portraits. His father and mother died when he was eight or nine years of age; and he was brought up by an uncle in Lyon, France, who sent him to the industrial school of that city. Going to Paris in his late teens, he spent four years in intense artistic study.
The Departure of the Apostles
The following four years Gleyre spent in meditative inactivity in Italy, where he became acquainted with Horace Vernet and Louis Léopold Robert; and six years more were spent wandering in Greece, Egypt, Nubia and Syria. At Cairo he was attacked with ophthalmia, or inflammation of the eye, and in Lebanon he was struck down by fever. He returned to Lyons in shattered health. He was a renowned teacher and when Delaroche closed down his teaching studio in 1843, the majority of his students transferred to Gleyre. He taught Whistler and several of the Impressionists Bazille, Monet, Renoir, and Sisley and although his own paintings were conventional, he encouraged open air painting. Renoir, however, said that his main strength as a teacher was that he left his pupils ‘pretty much to their own devices’. Gleyre closed his studio in 1864 because of an eye ailment.
Romans Under the Yoke
Two Women with a Bouquet of Flowers
Daphnis and Chloe
Cleonis and Cydippe