A student of Joseph Benoît Suvée and Jacques Louis David, the Belgian artist Odevaere was renowned for his meticulous draftsmanship and theatrical compositions. Odevaere received his training at the Academy of Bruges, after which time he moved to Paris to work in Joseph-Benoît Suvée's studio, and then finally on to Jacques Louis David's, where he entered in 1801. Odevaere ingratiated himself with the French artistic community, no doubt through his connections to David, for whom he assisted on his second version of the Coronation of Napolean in Versailles. Along with Joseph Ruxthiel (1775-1837), Odevaere was the only Belgian painter to be awarded the first grand prize of the Prix de Rome, for which his Death of Phocion (Paris, National School of Fine Arts) was the winning entry. Odevaere's later style, to which this Narcissus belongs, is clearly indedbted to the Italian Renaissance and antiquity, no doubt developed during his sojourn to Italy towards the end of 1805.
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