Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) was one of the stars of official art under the Restoration and the Second Empire. His history paintings, sometimes spectacular, depict gladiators, cruel Roman emperors, and picturesque or dramatic ancient scenes. Often illusionist, Gérôme's antique paintings appear as precursors of the great Hollywood peplums.
Gérôme is a painter of almost photographic precision and very attentive to detail! He documented himself at length designing his large compositions, visiting museums, and following the debates of specialists in archeology. It seeks verisimilitude but does not consistently achieve historical accuracy. What matters most is the spectacular effect of his works!