The Wallace Collection

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Thomas Couture (1815 - 1879)
  • Place of Birth: Senlis (Oise), France
  • Place of Death: Villiers-le-Bel (Val d'Oise), France
Works of Art

A pupil of Gros and Delaroche, he later turned against the academic system after trying unsuccessfully at least six times to win the Prix de Rome for history painting.

His Romans of the Decadence (1847; Paris, Musée d'Orsay), combining monumental scale and impasted technique with a moralizing theme, created a sensation at the 1847 Paris Salon. He received several major commissions, but completed only the murals for the chapel of the Virgin in the church of Saint-Eustache, Paris, and in his later years painted mostly portraits and anecdotal scenes for private patrons.

An influential teacher, particularly in his devotion to drawing and broad brushwork, his many pupils included Edouard Manet (1832-83) and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-98).