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Eugène Delacroix

Eugène Delacroix

(1798 - 1863)
Born: Charenton-St-Maurice, France
Style: Romanticism
Famous Works:
  • Jeune Orpheline au Cimetiere (1824)
  • Liberty Leading the People (1830)
  • The Justice of Trajan (1858)
Eugène Delacroix met Théodore Géricault as a teenager student at the École des Beaux-Arts, the two students shared a passion for horses. Years later, the two artists came to be known as the strictest followers of the Romantic movement. Delacroix's work displays not only the expert draughtsmanship of Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres, but also an emotional connection that was much more elevated than Ingres' relatively dry academicism. In 1824 Géricault died from a riding accident, and Delacroix exhibited The Massacres at Chios. It met with mixed but impassioned reviews. The debut of the painting set in motion a twenty-five year rivalry with Ingres. Delacroix wanted to use color to render line less important, while the graceful and sensual contours of Ingres were in exact opposition. The Death of Sardanapalus, 1827, typifies the twisted, complex compositions, and the brilliant colors of Delacroix's work. The king lies on an enormous, blood red bed, gazing a scene of blood and horror. He has just ordered all his slaves and harem women killed. The scandalous painting is imbued with the emotion of the extreme historical subject. Delacroix went to Morocco in 1832, where he filled sketchbooks with drawings of women and animal hunts that demonstrated his further experimentation with the relationships between different colors. He was honored in the 1840s with a commission from the French government to paint the ceilings at the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, and the Louvre. His vision exists today not only in his legacy as a painter, but also in his writings.
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