Born in Paris in 1826, Gustave Moreau painted elaborate biblical and mythological fantasies. Studying under Picot at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he made his debut in the Salon in 1852. His mark left on the world of Art lay in his tolerant and intelligent teaching at the school, where he himself was taught.
He was responsible for the development of numerous pupils, including Rouault, Matisse and Marquet and had a considerable influence on modern painting and a slighter one on surrealism.
Upon his death in 1889, he left his collections to the state as a museum, of which Rouault was to be the curator.