french figure painter Gustave Boulanger is known for his imaginative recreations of genre scenes of Ancient Greece, Rome and "Orientalist" locations. His technical skills were profound, but many of his works are considered "cold" and strong examples of the Academic School.
He studied in the studio of Pierre-Jules Jollivet and then with Paul Delaroche, whose Realism and formal technique made the strongest influences on Boulanger's works.
At the age of twenty one he made a journey to North Africa and was deeply impressed with the architecture and scenery. Only four years later he was awarded the Prix de Rome, and this gave him his strong professional reputation.
He would always take great pains to create a realistic setting, usually one he had personally visited, such as Pompeii and buildings in Moorish architecture. Boulanger also undertook decorative work for casinos and theaters in France as well.
He was elected to the Institute de France in 1882, and enjoyed a career as a teacher with students such as Edmund Charles Tarbell. In the early 1880s however he identified himself strictly with the conservative elite, publishing a pamphlet which discredited the newest forms of painting, including Impressionism.
In addition to canvases and decorative work, he did public mural work throughout the city of Paris, including the City Hall for the thirteenth arrondissement.