Gustave Moreau was born on the 6th of April in 1826 in Paris.
Coming from a bourgeois family, he aquires from his father a rich classical culture. Gifted for drawing, the young Gustave destined himself very early for a career as a painter. At the age of 15, he makes his first trip to Italy in order to discover the work of the great masters of the Renaissance.
Once his studies at the Beaux-Arts achieved, he follows the teaching of François-Édouard Picot and gets close to Théodore Chassériau. He fantasizes himself as a great History painter, drawing his inspiration from ancient mythology and biblical tales.
From 1866, the painter looks for a new iconography: he no longer wants to represent History but to invent scenes resulting from his own reflection. Imagination takes precedence over reality. Gustave Moreau gives birth to symbolism, which he will develop in four cycles of which Greek mythology is the fertile ground.
A painter of extraordinary talent and a litterary man with profound erudition, Gustave Moreau stands out in a compartmentalized society.
Demanding on his work, he only conceives it as a whole. Separated, his paintings can only perish, they must be seen as a whole to better understand what artist he is and in what place he likes to dream: from the age of 36, he envisages his studio as a receptacle of all of his work.
In 1895, he makes his project a reality by calling on the architect Albert Lafon, who was to transform his family home into a museum. At his death three years later, the Gustave Moreau Museum opens its doors.