The Artist Eugene Delacroix

The Artist Eugene Delacroix

Who is Eugene Delacroix?

The Artist Eugene Delacroix was one of the greatest French Romantic painters, who played an essential part in the development Impressionist and Post – impressionist paintings through his use color, inspired by historical and contemporary event and literature.

Eugene Delacroix’s full name was Ferdinand – Eugene – Victor Delacroix. He was born on April 26, 1798 in Charenton-Saint –Maurice, France to Charles –Delacroix and Victorie Oeben. His father was a government official who was ambassador to Holland in 1798.

He took interest in art because of his mother, who introduced him to art and literature. By the age of seventeen, he had developed a passion for music and art. He lost his parents at a very young age.

School Life Experience

For his education, he attended the Lycee Louis – le- Grand School in Paris, and later he went to the Lycee Pierre Corneille School. He did well academically and won many awards for his paintings. Then, he went to the famous art school in France, Ecole des Beaux – Arts.

Inspired By Michelan – Gelo and Peter Paul Rubens

His earlier works were inspired by Michelan – gelo and Peter Paul Rubens. Another painter who influenced Delacroix’s art was Theodore Gericault. He was a French pioneer in Romanticist art. Delacroix was naturally influenced by Romanticism given the time period he was born in.

 He referred to religious and literary subject matters in many of his paintings. Delacroix continued to paint, inspired by the works of Dante, Shakespeare, and the Romantic poet Lord Byron.

What are the masterpieces of Delacroix’s?

Delacroix’s first masterpiece was ‘Dante and Virgil in Hell’. It was inspired by Dante’s epic The Divine Comedy. It was displayed at the prestigious art exhibition of the Paris Salon. The painting was considered to be a pioneer of the Romantic Movement.

Delacroix was commissioned around France for many decorative projects like murals and ceiling paintings, and painting government buildings, which allowed him to practice on a larger scale.

On Period 1820s, Some Famous Events

During the 1820s, his painting reflected historical events like the Greek War of Independence its horrors. His 1824 painting ‘The Massacre at Chios’ was inspired by war themes. He beautifully expressed the emotions of different subjects. Pain and misery became common themes in his works.

Later, he created ‘Greece on the Ruin of Missolonghi’ in 1826. Both works were based on the subjects of history and literature. He used bold colors, and his art style also altered due to his interaction with J.M.W Turner, Sir Thomas Lawrence and John Constable.

Another one of Delacroix’s well-known works was ‘The Death of Sardanapalus’. This painting was based on a tragedy; a somewhat incoherent paintings depicting women, slaves, jewels and rich fabric in a riotous manner.

 In 1830, his major work was ‘Liberty Leading the People’where he portrayed the France revolution, more specifically the July Revolution that had brought Louis-Phillipe to the French throne.

The overall calm and quite tone of the painting marked a change in Delacroix’s style, which started approaching allegory mixed with contemporary realism. In 1831, the painting was purchased by the Government of France. 

Morocco Journey with Louis-Philip and some best collection of paintings

The next year, Delacroix traveled to Morocco with King Louis- Phillipe. He was so taken by their exuberant culture that he made hundreds sketches in the duration of this trip. The colors, the horses, the nature and the flowing clothes of the Arabs all inspired his paintings.

He became freer with his use of color. Some of his paintings from that time were ‘Women of Algiers in Their Apartment’, ‘Jewish Wedding in Morocco’, Arab Saddling His Horse’ and ‘Arab Horse Fighting in a Stable’. In 1838, he created the painting ‘Medea to Kill her Children’. It was inspired by Greek mythology.

In his later years, Delacroix painted more government buildings. He took the inspiration from Michelangelo. His next works were ‘The Battle of Taillebourg’ and ‘The Taking of Constantinople’ created in 1840.

19th Century period

Delacroix also developed the forms of Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings. He style included rough brushstrokes and he experimented with sensuous colors and light. He linked the classic style of the old masters and the modern movements of the 19th century. 

Good bye to the World

Delacroix died on August 13, 1863, in Paris. After his death, thousands of his drawings, watercolors and prints were discovered.                          

Masterpiece by Eugene Delacroix
  • Women of Algiers in Their Apartment
  • Jewish Wedding in Morocco
  • Arab Saddling His Horse
  • Arab Horse Fighting in a Stable
  • The Battle of Taillebourg
  • The Taking of Constantinople’ created in 1840
  • Dante and Virgil in Hell
  • Liberty Leading the People
  • ‘The Death of Sardanapalus
  • The Massacre at Chios
  • Greece on the Ruin of Missolonghi