Public Prayer in the Mosque of Amr, Cairo, 1870
Oil on canvas, 35.04 x 29.53 inches [89 x 75 cm]
It was not only his skill with a brush that made Gerome one of the richest and most famous of 19th-century artists. Gerome owed his success in large part to the House of Goupil & Cie., a Paris-based gallery and print publisher founded in 1829 by Adolph Goupil (1806-93). A global enterprise with branches in Zurich, Athens, Havana and New York, among many other locations, Goupil sold paintings to wealthy and discerning clients. But, more important for the fortunes of Gerome and other artists, the firm produced and sold fine art reproductions.
To feed an emerging middle-class market for inexpensive art, Goupil's factory outside Paris employed skilled craftsmen to produce engraved, etched, photographic and even sculptural copies of paintings in vast quantities. Goupil's reproductions made Gerome an artist of worldwide reknown.