Graphics Alignment Issue

I have a couple of graphics that I want to put into a presentation, with some text below that I wish to align. I have done this as follows:

img1 = First[
Import["https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Cuvier#/media/File:\
Georges_Cuvier.png",  "Images"]];
text1a = Text[
Style[ToString["Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier"], Bold, 22]];
text1b = Text[
Style[ToString["(23 August 1769 - 13 May 1832)"], Bold, 16]];
col1 = Column[{
img1,
text1a, text1b}, Center]; disk =
Graphics[{Black, Disk[{0, 0}, {5, 8}]}]; img2 =
First[Import[
"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achille_Valenciennes#/media/File:\
Achille_Valenciennes01.jpg", "Images"]];
text2a = Text[Style[ToString["Achille Valenciennes"], Bold, 22]];
text2b = Text[
Style[ToString["(9 August 1794 - 13 April 1865)"], Bold, 16]];
col2 = Column[{
img2,
text2a, text2b}
, Center, Spacings -> {0, 0}];
Row[{col1, "                           ", col2}]


This works, but there are several issues that I can't figure out how to overcome.

1) The figures are always resized very small relative to the text and I can't figure out how to make the figure component of the columns much larger as there is plenty of space on the display page

2) The alignment of the text between the two columns does not correspond and appears uneven,

3) The separation of the columns is very much a kludge. Looking for absolute alignment here, if possible, for complete control of placement.

I've tried to do this with GraphicsColumn and GraphicsRow but can not get it to display, so far only Column and Row seem to provide visible output that approximates what is desired. Likewise same problem with GraphicsGrid.

Seems there may be complications given that the second image is of a different size and must be masked to produce an oval appearance to make the two images look comparable, otherwise the first is oval and the second is rectangular.

Apologies for the run-on code, but everything must be put into a single cell so that it can be easily hidden to just display the graphic for presentation.

Any suggestions as to what the problem is here that prevents what should be an easily solved alignment issue. A solution or solutions, would be much appreciated. Similar questions have been asked but the solutions I've tried don't seem to resolve the problems above. Thanks in advance.

Construct the Grid only once, rather than as a Row of Columns. Use ImageResize to control the size of the images. Use ItemSize to control spacings:

Grid[
Transpose@{
{ImageResize[img1, 500], text1a, text1b},
{ImageResize[img2, 500], text2a, text2b}},
ItemSize -> {30, Automatic}
]


• A very elegant solution. Evidently, I didn't think to use either Transpose or Resize. Thanks to all who responded. I've learned something useful. – Stuart Poss Nov 12 '16 at 0:05

The following seems to work:

Grid[{{img1, img2}, {text1a, text2a}, {text2a, text2b}}, Spacings -> {5, 1}]


Change Spacings -> {5, 1} to adjust the horizontal (5) and vertical (1) spacings.

You could also resize the images using ImageResize to ensure they have same height; presently, the heights slighty differ:

ImageDimensions /@ {img1, img2}
(* {{200, 250}, {220, 312}} *)