19 March sees the start of a new film cycle at the Museum, on this occasion relating to the exhibition Jean-León Gérôme. It runs until 15 May and films are shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. An artist interested in historical subjects and influenced by photography, one of Gérôme’s characteristics was the way in which he imbued his paintings with a highly realistic, cinematographic feel.

His travels inspired his depictions of the Near East, the life of Ancient Rome and the numerous historical episodes that seem to be magically frozen in his compositions, making the viewer a witness to the ancient world. Gérôme’s innovative approach to the settings of his works and his rigorous archaeological accuracy based on scholarly research and excavations of the period made his paintings a source of inspiration for Hollywood at the time of the great historical productions.

The present cycle opens with Napoleon (Abel Gance, 1927), which recreates the life of the French general, followed by Mata Hari (George Fitzmaurice, 1932), a film that recounts the last days of the famous Dutch dancer and spy, and continues with celebrated titles such as Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick, 1960), Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959), and Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000). Films will be shown in the original language with subtitles.