Ary Scheffer received his first training from his parents, the artists Johann-Bernard and Cornelia Scheffer, before attending the Teeken-Academie (Drawing Academy) in Amsterdam from 1806 to 1809. A precocious artist, Scheffer was thirteen when he exhibited Hannibal Swearing to Avenge the Death of his Brother Hasdrubal (Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum) in 1808 at the first Exhibition of Living Masters, in Amsterdam. In 1810, the year after his father’s death, Scheffer moved with his mother and his brothers, Henry (also a painter) and Arnold, to Paris, where he became the student of Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and later studied with the Neoclassical painter Pierre Guérin at the École des Beaux-Arts. Beginning in 1812 he was a regular exhibitor at the Salon. His work ranged from portraits and sentimental genre pieces to paintings depicting religious and literary themes (Goethe, Scott, Shakespeare). Scheffer spent his career in Paris and became one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement after abandoning his early Neoclassical style. Following the accession of Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans, to the French throne in 1830, Scheffer received important commissions from the Crown for portraits of the royal family and several enormous canvases for the historical gallery at Versailles.
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