Artist : Ary Scheffer (Dutch-French , 1795 - 1858)
Title : The Temptation of Christ
Date : 1854
Medium : oil painting
Dimensions : ?
Current location : Walker Art Gallery , Liverpool, England.
Ary Scheffer (10 February 1795 - 15 June 1858), was a Dutch-French Romantic painter.
Scheffer was the son of Johan Bernard Scheffer (1765 - 1809), a portrait painter born in Hamburg or Kassel who had moved to the Netherlands in his youth, and Cornelia Lamme (1769 - 1839), a portrait miniature painter and daughter of the Dordrecht landscape painter Arie Lamme, after whom Arij (later Ary) was named. He had two brothers, the journalist and writer Karel Arnold Scheffer (1796 - 1853) and the painter Hendrik Scheffer (1798 - 1862). He was taught by his parents and attended the Amsterdam drawing academy from the age of 11. In 1808 his father became court painter of Louis Bonaparte in Amsterdam, but he died a year later. Encouraged by Willem Bilderdijk, he moved to Lille for further study after the death of his father. In 1811 he and his mother, who had a large influence on his career, moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts as a pupil of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin. His brothers followed them later.
Scheffer started exhibiting at the Salon de Paris from 1812 on. He started to become recognized in 1817 and in 1819 he was asked to make a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette. Perhaps because of Lafayette's contacts, Scheffer and his brothers were politically active throughout their lives and he became a prominent Philhellene.
In 1830 Scheffer had a daughter Cornelia. He registered the name of her mother as Maria Johanna de Nes, but nothing is known about her and she may have died soon after Cornelia's birth. Considering that his own grandmother's name was Johanna de Nes, it has been speculated that he kept Cornelia's mother's name a secret not to compromise a noble family's reputation. Cornelia Scheffer (1830 - 1899) became a sculptor and painter in her own right. Scheffer's mother did not know of her namesake granddaughter until 1837, after which she took care of her until she died only two years later.
Scheffer was made commander of the Legion of Honour in 1848. As a captain of the Garde Nationale he escorted the royal family in their escape from the Tuileries and escorted the Duchess d'Orléans to the Chambre des Députés where she in vain proposed her son to be the next monarch of France. Scheffer fought in the army of Cavaignac during the popular uprising in Paris, but he was so shocked by the cruelty and hatred from the government's side and the misery of the lower classes that he withdrew from political activity and refused to make portraits of the family of Napoléon III. On March 16, 1850 he married Sophie Marin, the widow of General Baudrand, and on November 6 of that year he finally became a French citizen. He continued his frequent travels to the Netherlands, and made trips to Belgium, Germany and England, but a heart condition slowed him down and in 1858 took his life in his summerhouse in Argenteuil. He is buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre.