Delaroche trained in the studios of Watelet and Gros and first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1822. He began to specialise in scenes from French and English history (his best known painting in Britain is ‘The Execution of Lady Jane Grey’ in the National Gallery, London). In 1833 he was made professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris where his pupils included Couture and Gérôme. His major achievement was the large panorama (twenty-seven metres in length) of ‘The Hemicycle’ for the École des Beaux-Arts, painted between 1837 and 1841. It was completed with the aid of four assistants and depicts a total of over seventy artists in conversation, ranging in date from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries.