Jean-Leon Gerome was born in Vesoul,, France in 1824 and was an artist who considered the Impressionists to be "the dishonour of French art".
In 1841 he went to Paris and a year later entered Paul Delaroche's studio. His debut at the Salon was a success, winning a third class medal for Combat de Coq, which was also bought by the state and then in 1855 Gerome received a second class medal and the Legion of Honour cross.
He continued to take part in the Paris exhibitions with great success; his works were reproduced in engravings and even his poorer quality productions sold at considerable prices. In 1867 he received a further medal of honour and was named Officer of the Legion of Honour, perhaps due to his work of the year, The Death of Caesar.
Towards the end of his life he gave up painting and took up sculpture, producing Bonaparte, Bellon and Le Retiaire. He died in Paris in 1904.