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The Cover
July 12, 2006

Jean-Baptiste Belley

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(2):144. doi:10.1001/jama.296.2.144

But for the events in Paris between July 12 and July 14, 1789, Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (1767-1824) and Jean-Baptiste Belley probably would never have met. Certainly Girodet would never have painted Belley's portrait. But once the Bastille had been stormed and the Revolution ignited, their paths were destined to cross. For the time being, however, in 1789, the 22-year-old Girodet, a favored pupil of the Neoclassical painter Jacque-Louis David, was preparing to go to Rome: after three unsuccessful tries at the competitive Prix de Rome, including one in which he was accused of fraud, Girodet had finally won the coveted scholarship entitling him to spend four years at the French Academy in Rome. The 42-year-old Belley, meanwhile, was half a world away, in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (today Hispaniola), where he was a successful businessman and property owner in Cap-Français (now Cap-Haïtien).