Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle

Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle (29 June 1826 – 29 May 1889) was a French painter.

Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle
Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle by Nadar (1910).
Born(1826-06-29)29 June 1826
Paris, France
Died29 May 1889(1889-05-29) (aged 62)
Paris, France


Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle was born on 29 June 1826. His father, Jean-Baptiste, was a carpenter and his mother, Madeleine Vitry, was a laundress. He was their third child. He was admitted to the École des Arts et Métiers (School of Arts and Crafts), where he showed unusual ability in drawing. In 1843, at the age of 17, he was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts where he was a pupil of Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre.[1] He also studied under Pierre Dupuis.[2]

Mazerolle's first submission to the Salon was in 1857 with The Old Woman and the Two Servants. He continued to be a regular exhibitor in the Salon for most of his life. In 1857 he won a 3rd class medal for Chilperic and Fregigonde, and in 1859 won a "rappel" for Nero and Locusta Experimenting with Poisons upon a Slave. He won a second "rappel" in 1861.[3] Most of his paintings were of historical or mythological subjects.[4]

In 1861 Mazerolle married Aglaé Hourdou. They had two sons. He served in the National Guard during the Siege of Paris in 1870.[1] He was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1870.[4] In the early years of the French Third Republic Mazerolle created decorative tapestry designs for the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins.[5] In 1880 President Jules Grévy made him an officer of the Legion of Honour when the new ceiling of the Théâtre Français was inaugurated, for which he received much praise. He died on 29 May 1889 from an attack of asthma, aged 62.[1]

Work in public collections

Mazerolle is perhaps best known for his painting of Nero Experimenting with Poison on a Slave, held by the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille.[2] He is also known for his ceiling paintings at the Comédie-Française and the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, and for the Nine Muses and Six Geniuses for the Conservatoire de Paris.[3] Works in public collections include:



    • "Biographie, Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle 1826-1889". L’Association des Amis du peintre Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
    • Campbell, Gordon (2006-11-09). The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518948-3. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
    • Henninger, Joseph M. (2013-11-12). Drawing of the Hand. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-77995-9. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
    • Spielmann, Marion Harry (1889). The Magazine of Art. Cassell, Petter & Gallpin. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
    • Stranahan, Clara Cornelia Harrison (1888). A History of French painting from its earliest to its latest practice: including an account of the French academy of painting, its salons, schools of instruction and regulations. Scribner. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
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