Though he came of age as a professional painter during the highpoint of Romanticism, Ary Scheffer would work in his own distinct manner, frequently referred to as "frigidly classical".
He was born to a poor, but artistic father, and his mother found him a place studying with Pierre Narcisse Guerin, a tremendously popular painter of elaborate historical scenes.
His early works were primarily of subjects taken directly from literature, and later in his career he turned primarily to religious themes and images. Additionally, Scheffer was known for his portraiture and had such sitters as Chopin, Liszt, Queen Marie Amelie of France, and the Marquis de la Fayette, among others.
In the 1830s he began working strictly with religious subjects, and continued to do so up until 1846. After this period in his life he stopped exhibiting in the Salons because his close links with the royal family of France had forced him into an unpopular position. He worked for the next decade in isolation, never exhibiting another of his completed works.
His paintings are in some of the world's most prominent museums, including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Louvre in Paris.