Fun fact: producers for the film Gladiator were armed with a reproduction of this painting when they pitched the script to Ridley Scott. He said, “That image spoke to me of the Roman Empire in all its glory and wickedness.”
Jean-Léon Gérôme (Vesoul, 11 May 1824 – Paris, 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period, and in addition to being a painter, he was also a teacher with a long list of students.
A teacher happened to mention this art piece today in class. He was talking about a poet finding inspiration to write through this painting… and I thought I’d look it up already, but then he sealed it by saying “Oh, and I believe this art piece was also the one that inspired the movie ‘Gladiator’”.
You can just imagine the way I bounced on my seat when I heard him talk about that… really, people can’t just say the word 'gladiator’ near me anymore xD
After seeing it, I really thought I needed to share… it’s a great piece, I believe. Even though it isn’t directly involved with my Gladiator, I was really impressed upon seeing it. And it provided inspirationg for a poet… so I figured I ought to take a good look at it in hopes to find more inspiration myself :)
Cage Pollice Verso (from Latin: Cage with a turned thumb) is a painting by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, featuring the eponymous Roman gesture directed to the winning gladiators.
The gesture on the painting is given by the Vestals to victorious secutor Nicolas Cage, shooting a beaten retiarius at Colosseum. The painting inspired the 2000 film Gladiator, which should have starred Nicolas Cage.