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French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) was one of the greatest creative figures of the nineteenth century. Coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he reconnected the present to the past on his own terms. Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to this amazing artist ever held in North America.
The exhibition, a joint project with the Musée du Louvre, will illuminate Delacroix's restless imagination through approximately 145 paintings, drawings, and prints—many never before seen in the United States. It will unfold chronologically, encompassing the rich variety of themes that preoccupied the artist during his more than four decades of activity, including literature, history, religion, animals, and nature. Through rarely seen graphic art displayed alongside such iconic paintings as Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1826), The Battle of Nancy (1831), Women of Algiers in Their Apartment (1834), and Medea about to Kill Her Children (1838), this exhibition will explore an artist whose protean genius set the bar for virtually all other French painters.
The exhibition comes to the Met following a run at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Delacroix, examines Delacroix’s engagement with the work of his predecessors, studies the effect of the artist’s prodigious life on his work, and explores his impact on Western painting. The artist’s fascination with the natural world, his interest in the Ottoman Empire, and the profound influence of his voyage to North Africa are analyzed and provide new insights into understanding and appreciating his unconventional subjects.
This in-depth monograph, written by French and American experts, presents many of Delacroix’s iconic canvases, such as The Women of Algiers in their Apartment, Liberty Leading the People, and Lion Hunt, as well as a generous selection of lesser-known works and rarely seen drawings and prints from international collections. This revealing volume captures the full range and diversity of Delacroix’s genius, showing how this prolific and groundbreaking artist changed the course of European painting.
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