Louis Beroud was born in 1852 in Lyon. He was best known for painting. He was awarded the medal of honour at the Salon in 1882 and won the bronze medal at the Universal.After visiting the Louvre in the 1870s, an American traveler noted that "along the galleries are numerous temporary stands, easels, etc., at which artists are constantly at work copying such paintings as they may have orders for, or hope to find purchasers for" (as quoted in Barbara Stern Shapiro, Pleasures of Paris: Daumier to Picasso, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1991, p. 108).Stumbling across a working artist and his accoutrements was not a rare occurrence for the museumgoer in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Viewing and copying the museum's masterpieces was a traditional part of an artist's education, and a practice Beroud both enjoyed and used as the subject of at least twenty-six of his compositions. Indeed, Louis Beroud was such a frequent visitor to the Louvre that he is credited with sounding the alarm upon discovering the Mona Lisa's theft in 1911. The Louvre held the entirety of art history, and its crowded walls offered a bounty of choices for diverse study.In January 1910, when the Seine overflowed its banks, bringing quick and catastrophic flooding to Paris (Didier Aaron Galleries, discussed under no. 24, Dupuy, p. 67), water inundated several of the Louvre's basements, threatening the stored artworks. It was only through the rapidly organized and heroic efforts of Parisians working to build sandbag barricades that further destruction to the museum was prevented allowing Beroud, his fellow artists, and generations of visitors since to continue to enjoy its many treasures (Jeffrey H. Jackson, Paris under Water: How the city of light survived the great flood of 1910, New York, 2010, pp. 98, 115-6).
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