Ary Scheffer Biography
Scheffer was BORN 12 Feb 1795, Dordrecht - DIED 15 Jun 1858, Argenteuil
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetiere (division 22)
Ary Scheffer was initially taught by his parents, painters Johann-Bernhard Scheffer (1764-1809) and Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme (1769-1839), and he attended the drawing academy in Amsterdam from 1806 until 1809. After his mother became a widow, she moved with her three sons to Paris in 1811. Scheffer entered the studio of the neoclassical painter Pierre Guérin (1774-1833), where he would meet Delacroix (q.v.) and Théodore Géricault (1791-1824), and made his debut at the Salon in 1812.
Early Scheffer paintings received little attention, but in 1817 he won both his first medal at the Salon and the support of painter Baron François Gérard (1770-1837), who recommended him as teacher for the children of Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans. Scheffer, a republican at heart, was much engaged in politics. The revolts of July 1830 ended the reign of the Bourbon dynasty, and the liberals made Louis-Philippe the new king of France (July Monarchy, 1830-48).
Scheffer received many state commissions (history paintings and portraits), and his paintings of literary and religious subjects made him one of the foremost romantic painters. Ary Scheffer was disappointed by the course of political events, as Louis-Philippe’s reign resulted in fewer democratic changes than he had hoped. Scheffer exhibited at the Salon until 1846, after which he withdrew increasingly from public life. Ary Scheffer traveled frequently, for example, to the Netherlands, where he also exhibited. In 1850 Ary Scheffer became a French citizen and married Sophie Marin, who died six years later.
In 1859, one year after his own death, a large exhibition of Ary Scheffer paintings was organized in Paris. In general, Scheffer had been an immensely popular artist, working in various styles; at times, however, Ary Scheffer was criticized for overt sentimentality and lack of technique