Arrogant, a spoiled eccentric, game to pick a fight but eager for respect, Girodet painted himself as a glowering dandy in a hat (you can't tell he was losing his hair), jaw set, lips pouting. "Originality arouses curiosity," he wrote as a note to himself, as if encouraging his own flamboyance. In David's studio — whose atmosphere, competitively and sexually speaking, was a bit like that of an old English boarding school — Girodet developed an unpleasant reputation as a moody workaholic egomaniac. He lost the Rome Prize because a rival student claimed to have caught him cheating.
the mythological Danaë, showered with gold, clutching a cracked mirror, exposed as an adulteress: her cuckolded husband was clearly recognizable to tout Paris as a turkey wearing peacock feathers; her lover, an unscrupulous wheeler-dealer who liked to call himself the Comte de Beauregard, was painted as a satyr under her bed, a gold coin stuck in his eye, making a pun out of his name. The coup de grâce was Cupid, representing her illegitimate daughter by another liaison.