Girodet had a difficult and at times unpleasant personality, although he was one of the most talented and individual of all Jacques-Louis David’s major pupils. He entered David’s studio in 1784, winning the Prix de Rome in 1789. He left for Rome in 1790, where he began to move away from the strict neo-classicism advocated by David. He was forced to leave Rome on account of anti-French feeling during the Revolution and spent time in Naples, Venice and Genoa, returning to Paris in 1795. He sealed his reputation with the ‘Portrait of Madame Lange as Danaë’ (Institute of Art, Minneapolis) and the ‘Deluge’ (Louvre, Paris). Girodet was also a prolific writer, and his collected works appeared in a posthumous publication of 1829.