Gustave Moreau was born in Paris in 1826. A pupil of the painter Chassériau, Moreau became one of the leading Symbolist artists. His feeling for the bizarre led him to develop a style that is highly distinctive in subject and technique. His preference was for mystically intense images evoking long-dead civilizations and mythologies, treated with an extraordinary sensuousness. Although he had some success at the Salon, he had no need to court this as he had private means, and much of his life was spent in seclusion. In 1892 he became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and proved an inspired teacher. His pupils included Matisse and Rouault and it was Rouault who became the first curator of the Moreau Museum in Paris (the artist’s house), which Moreau left to the nation on his death in Montmorillon in 1898. The bulk of his work is preserved there. The museum is situated at 14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, Paris F-75009.