The peculiarities which mark Girodet’s position as the herald of the romantic movement are already evident in his “Endymion.” He has a decided inclination to the ancient style, and the fullness of statuary is very perceptible in his works, but they are also distinguished for life, nature and beauty. His drawing is correct, and of great precision; his coloring is rich, transparent and harmonious. He works with equal care and genius. He loves to produce effect by strong lights but they are in unison with the spirit of the pieces.
The same incongruity marks Girodet’s “Danae” and his “Quatre Saisons,” executed for the king of Spain (repeated for Compiègne), and shows itself to a ludicrous extent in his “Fingal” St. Petersburg, Leuchtenberg collection), executed for Napoleon in 1802. This work unites the defects of the classic and romantic schools, for Girodet’s imagination ardently and exclusively pursued the ideas excited by varied reading both of classic and of modern literature, and the impressions which he received from the external world afforded him little stimulus or check; he consequently retained the mannerisms of his master’s practice whilst rejecting all restraint on choice of subject.