GROS, Antoine-Jean
(b. 1771, Paris, d. 1835, Meudon)

Sappho at Leucate

Oil on canvas, 122 x 100 cm
Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux

The young Gros moved his Salon audience in 1801, with his unearthly Sappho at Leucate, in which the poetess, in agonies of rejection, casts herself into the sea. Touched by the moonlight shimmering through her transparent veil, Sappho seems poised between two worlds; behind her on the cliffs stands a sacrificial altar.