(b Montpellier, 28 Sept. 1823; d Paris, 23 Jan. 1889). French painter. The winner of the Prix de Rome in 1845, he ranked with Bouguereau as one of the most successful and influential academic painters of the period and one of the sternest opponents of the Impressionists. The Birth of Venus (1862, Mus. d'Orsay, Paris) is his best-known work and typical of the slick and titillating (but supposedly chaste) nudes at which he excelled.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)