Born at Vesoul in 1824, Jean Léon Gérome (d.1904) is one of the most prominent French painters, sculptors and engravers of the 19th century. He came to Paris in 1841 and entered the studio of Paul Delaroche the followinf year. He made his début at the Salon in 1847 with the painting 'Cockfighting' which won him a third class medal. Subsequently, he produced many paintings of genre and classical subjects. His extensive travels in Italy and Turkey are reflected in his paintings and engravings, as well as in the thems he treated in his sculptures. He became a member of the Institut in 1863 and a Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur in 1878. After a lifetime devoted to painting, he switched to sculpture and produced genre, heroic and classical figures, such as 'Bonaparte', 'Bellona and Omphalos' or the present lot, the 'Flight to Egypt'.