Gustave Moreau (6 April 1826 - 18 April 1898) was a French Symbolist painter whose main focus was the illustration of biblical and mythological figures. As a painter of literary ideas rather than visual images, Moreau appealed to the imaginations of some Symbolist writers and artists, who saw him as a precursor to their movement. Oedipus and the Sphinx, one of his first symbolist paintings, was exhibited at the Salon of 1864. Over his lifetime, he produced over 8,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings. He had become a professor at Paris' École des Beaux-Arts in 1891 and counted among his many students the fauvist painters, Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault.