(b. 1767, Montargis, d. 1824, Paris)


French painter and illustrator, usually known as Girodet-Trioson, a name he adopted in honour of a benefactor, Dr Trioson. He studied with Jacques-Louis David and won the Prix de Rome in 1789, returning to Paris in 1795. In style and technique he followed David, but for his choice of themes and his emotional treatment he was acclaimed by the young Romantics. He was particularly interested in unusual colour effects and in the problems of concentrated light and shade, as in The Sleep of Endymion (1792) and The Entombment of Atala (1808), both in the Louvre. Girodet often favoured literary themes, but he also won renown for his paintings glorifying Napoleon (The Revolt of Cairo, Versailles Museum, 1810) and was a fine portraitist. One of his best-known portraits, Mademoiselle Lange as Danae (Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1799), caused a scandal because of its satirical sexual allusions.

His book illustrations included work for editions of Jean Racine and Virgil. In 1812 he inherited a fortune and thereafter devoted himself to writing unreadably boring poems on aesthetics.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.