Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix – French 1798-1863

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, Self Portrait ca. 1837
Self Portrait, ca. 1837
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French painter whose work exemplified 19th-century romanticism, and whose influence extended to the impressionists.

Delacroix was born on April 26, 1798, at Charenton-Saint Maurice, and he studied under the French painter Pie rre Guérin. He was trained in the formal neoclassical style of the French painter Jacques-Louis David, but he was strongly influenced by the more colorful, opulent style of such earlier masters as the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and the Italian painter Paolo Veronese. He also absorbed the spirit of his contemporary and countryman Theodore Gericault, whose early works exemplify the violent action, love of liberty, and budding romanticism of the turbulent post-Napoleonic period.

Delacroix's artistic career began in 1822, when his first painting, The Barque of Dante (1822, Musée du Louvre, Paris), was accepted by the Paris Salon. He achieved popular success in 1824 with Massacre at Chios (Louvre), which portrays the topical and heroic subject of the Greek struggle for independence. On a trip to England in 1825, he studied the work of English painters. The influence of R. P. Bonington, who painted in bright, jewel-like colors, is evident in Delacroix's subsequent works, such as Death of Sardanapalus (1827, Musée du Louvre). A full-fledged work of his mature style, it is a lavish, violent, colorful canvas in which women, slaves, animals, jewels, and fabrics are combined in a swirling, almost delirious composition. The painting portrays the decision made by an ancient king to have his possessions (including his women) destroyed before he kills himself.

Delacroix's most overtly romantic and perhaps most influential work is Liberty Leading the People (1830, Musée du Louvre), a semi-allegorical glorification of the idea of liberty. This painting confirmed the clear division between the romantic style of painting, which emphasized color and spirit, and the concurrent neoclassical style (headed by the French painter J. A. D. Ingres), which emphasized line and cool detachment.

Delacroix remained the dominant French romantic painter throughout his life. A trip to North Africa in 1832 provided subjects for more than 100 sensuous canvases. In addition, he received many government commissions for murals and ceiling paintings. Many of his late works, especially animal pictures, hunt scenes, and marine subjects, are superb, but others exhibit a certain dryness of execution and lack of inspiration. He also illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Delacroix's technique, in which he applied contrasting colors with small strokes of the brush, creating a particularly vibrant effect, was an important influence on the impressionists. He is also well known for his Journals, which display considerable literary talent and express his views on art, politics, and life. Delacroix died in Paris on August 13, 1863. © Microsoft® Encarta '97

Search for more Eugene Delacroix items on AMAZON.
Eugene Delacroix 1798-1863: The Prince of Romanticism by Giles Neret – Paperback: 96 pages; Taschen America LLC, (May 1999)

Delacroix: The Late Work by Eugene Delacroix, Vincent Pomarde – Hardcover: 407 pages; Thames & Hudson (Sep 1998)

A pivotal figure in the history of nineteenth-century art, Delacroix stands both at the culmination of the great painterly tradition of Titian, Veronese, Rubens, and Rembrandt and at the beginning of something quite new and modern, as witnessed by the reverence given him by artists of following generations who were so profoundly influenced by his work: Renoir, Czanne, Picasso, and Matisse.

This publication, accompanying an international exhibition that begins in Paris and travels to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, presents in glorious color subjects ranging from saints and warriors to mythical goddesses, from Arab hunting scenes and tigers to sumptuous bouquets of flowers. Delacroix's late work reveals a deepening spiritual intensity and has more to do with aesthetic reflection and recollection than with the expansive narrative that characterized his grand public commissions. Focusing on the artist's last works allows further insight into this most remarkable and protean figure in the history of art.

Delacroix by Barthelmy Jobert – Hardcover: 336 pages; Princeton University Press (Oct 1998)

The reader has the amazing feeling of following Delacroix—almost physicall—in the slightest moves he makes and, above all, in the most minute transformations of his artistic choices. The author displays an impeccable erudition. Moreover, he offers us a new, frank portrait of Delacroix, the man behind the myth.

Eugene Delacroix: The Graphic Work a Catalogue Raisonne by Loys Delteil, Susan Strauber (Translator) – Hardcover; Alan Wofsy Fine Arts (Oct 1996)

This a complete revision of the classic Delteil catalogue on the great French Romantic artist (1798-1863), originally published in French in 1908.

Delacroix in Morocco by Delphine Le Cesne, Tamara Blondel (Translator), Brahim Alaoui (Editor) – Hardcover: 239 pages; Abbeville Press (Nov 1994)

Delacroix Pastels by Lee Johnson – Hardcover: 191 pages; George Braziller (Oct 1995)

Although Eugene Delacroix never exhibited his pastels and regarded them mainly as a private activity, the French Romantic artist exploited pastel for his own creative ends, producing innovative chromatic and textural effects, reveling in Oriental exotica and exploring tonalities of light and color.

The 60 pastels reproduced in color in this attractive album and dating from the 1820s through the 1860s embrace the full range of his subject matter—portraits, nudes, North African scenes, tigers in the wild, nature studies, ancient Greek history, mythological and religious scenes as well as preliminary studies for The Death of Sardanapalus and Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. In contrast to his highly dramatic, often violent oils, his pastels reveal his interest in being true to nature, in mastering the structure and tints of skies, flowers, clouds, faces

Professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, Johnson provides commentaries on the plates plus an informal biographical sketch of the impulsive artist, who held a deeply pessimistic view of the human condition. —Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Romantics and Realists Boxed Set / Goya, Whistler, Courbet, Friedrich, Rossetti, Delacroix boxed set Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC

The Great Artists chronicles the lives, times and works of the men whose genius has captivated the art world for generations. Informative and entertaining, the series highlights important events in each artist's life, explores their stylistic trademarks, and provides detailed explanations of their techniques.

Romantics & Realists: Delacroix
Color, Dolby, NTSC; Sep 26, 2006
50 minutes

NOTE: Also available in a six-disc set.

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