Francois Pascal Simon Baron Gerard

French historian and artist - Francois Pascal Simon Baron Gerard (1770-1837) Born in Rome on May 4, 1770. In 1782 he and his family moved to Paris, where he studied with Jacques Louis David and became his favorite student and faithful follower. He studied sculpture under the guidance of Page, but, showed an ability not so much for this art as for painting, he became a student of L. David and received a brilliant reputation during the First Empire, which, however, significantly faded during his lifetime. Gerard's first paintings, which drew the attention of art lovers and the public, were Belisarius (1795) and The First Kiss of Cupid and Psyche (1798; in the Louvre Museum, Paris). Despite the success of these works, Gerard only from 1800 became really popular, after Napoleon I commissioned him to paint his portrait and ordered him to depict the "Battle of Austerlitz" (located in the Versailles Historical Gallery) in 1806. His real vocation was a portrait. In this kind, Gerard was distinguished by an extraordinary ability to convey not only the individual traits of the depicted persons and their most characteristic expression, but also the imprint of the spirit of the era, their role in the life of modern society.