Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eugene Delacroix

Ferdinand Victor; Or Eugene Delacroix

Career: French painter.

Lived From and To: 1798 to 1863.

Eugene Delacroix was born on April 26, 1798, at Charenton-St. Maurice, and was educated at the imperial lycee.

Delacroix's career began in 1822 when his first painting was accepted by the Paris Salon. He achieved popular sucess in 1824 with Massacre at Chios, with portrays the topical and heroic subject of the Greek struggle for independence.

On a trip to England in 1825, ge studied the work of English painters. The influence of R. P. Bonington, who painted in bright, jewellike colors, is evident in Delacroix's subsequent works, such as Death of Sardanapalus 1827, 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 with almost equal emphasis in a swirling, almost delirious composition.

Eugene's most overtly romantic and perhaps most influental work is Liberty Leading the People.

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 reciveved many government commissions for murals and ceiling paintings.

Delacroix's technique, which he applied contrasting colors with small strokes of the brush, creating a vibrant effect, was an 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.

The Delacroix Museum is in the house in which the artist lived in Paris from 1857 until his death on Aug. 13, 1863.

Eugene Delacroix was the greatest of the French Romantic painters, he was born near Paris. He began his studies in Bordeaux, and seemed destined for a musical career but, in 1805, he went to Paris to attend the Lycée Louis-le-Grand where he received the standard classical education. An uncle to whom Delacroix showed some sketches encouraged him to study art with Guérin and then to go on to the Beaux-Arts. Though he soon became dissatisfied with the academic training, was encouraged by the early success of his friend and fellow student Géricault. Delacroix's early interest in art included the English landscapes artists and portraitists, and he held an especial regard toward William Hogarth.

His debut at the 1821 Salon with "Dante and Virgil", a romantic and frightening work, was climaxed by the purchase of the painting by the French government. In 1824 "The Massacre at Scio", labeled by critics a "massacre of painting," established Delacroix as an intellectual who believed that the world could be made better as well as an artist who sided with the unfortunate. A visit to England and to English artists in 1825 was followed by other romantic paintings and his first period ended in 1830 with "Liberty Leading the People", a work that glorifies revolt and is heart-rending in its portrayal of the dead and dying. With this, Delacroix became the head of the Romantic School, but the failure of the Revolution of 1830 made it necessary for him to express himself in literary and exotic paintings such as those resulting from a trip to Morocco in 1832.

His love for the works of the Renaissance led Delacroix to paint animals, musicians, religious subjects, and large original murals. Delacroix's works are gloriously exciting; even the most calm seem bursting with awareness of life; and his portraits burn with an inner fire. With marvelously fluid brushwork and a rich flowing palette made up of deep reds, blues and greens, creamy whites and golden flesh tones, he created for himself and for us a world removed from drab reality, a world that is perhaps theatrical but nonetheless ecstatic. Delacroix, who had bouts of fever as early as 1820, died of a chest ailment in 1863, still sketching and making entries in the journal he had kept for many years.

French painter, b. at Charenton-St-Maurice, near Paris, 26 April, 1798; d. 13 August, 1863. He was the son of Charles Delacroix, minister of foreign relations under the Convention from 1795 to 1797, and a grandson, by his mother of Aben, the famous pupil of Boulle. From his earliest childhood his love for music was intense and exercised throughout his life a decided influence on his work. He always attributed his success in his representation of the Magdalen (Saint-Denis of the Holy Sacrament), fainting from grief for her crucified Master, to an impression made upon him by the canticles of the month of May; while it was under the emotion produced by the music of the Dies Iræ that he brought forth the terrible angel of the fresco of Heliodorus (Saint Sulpice). After his studies at the Lycee Louis-le-Grand, he entered the school of Fine Arts in Paris and studied there under Guérin.

The extreme poverty which fell to the lot of Delacroix after the death of his parents in 1819 drove him to the production of lithographs, caricatures, etc. In the mean time, however (1818), a distinct promise of his future eminence had been manifested in the first of his recorded canvases, "Roman Matrons Sacrificing their Jewelry to Their Country". Against the advice of his master, Guérin, he exhibited at the Salon of 1822 the "Dante and Virgil", which had the immediate effect of bringing to its creator notoriety, if not fame, for it aroused a whirlwind of critical controversy. In the then existing state of French public opinion in matters of art, it is not wonderful that Delacroix should have failed to win the much coveted Prix de Rome, for which he was a competitor; but two years later (1824) his "Massacre of Scio" renewed the strife of the critics which his earlier Salon picture had first kindled, and brought him a little nearer to the goal of success. The conservative classicists condemned his work, as they condemned that of all the new romanticists, for its contempt of established traditions; the sublequent triumph of romanticism brought with it in good time his personal triumph, to be eventually signalized and confirmed by the acquisition of the two bitterly criticized early canvases, the "Roman Matrons"and the "Massacre of Scio", for the national collection of the Louvre. But only after the revolution of 1830 did official recognition and approval visit him. In the year next following that event he travelled through Spain and Morocco, whence he brought back an inspiration of Southern light, colour, and vital force which was to make itself effectively felt in all his later and more widely known work. The new government made him a chevalier of the Legion of Horour; the day of nineteenth-century romanticism had begun in France, and Delacroix, always a leader of this new school, was fairly arrivé. From the exhibition of his "Murder of the Bishop of Liège" in the Salon (1831) his progress was never seriously interrupted, in spite of incessant criticism, until, in 1857, it brought him into the fold of the Institute of France. It was during this quarter of a century of his career that he produced those great compositions on medieval and Arabian themes with which his name is nowadays most commonly associated.

The bitter opposition which Delacroix had all his life to endure drew him into discussions on which he displayed a really literary talent. No one who would arrive at a true idea of the man should omit the perusal of his essays on art and his correspondence. The number of his pictorial works is immense, aggregating about 9140 subjects, classified by Ernest Chesneau as follows: 853 canvases, 1525 pastels, water-colours, etc., 6629 drawings, 24 engravings, 109 lithographs, and 60 albums. The following may be mentioned as marking important moments in the development of his genius: "The 28th of July, 1830" (1830); "Charge of Arab Cavalry" (Montellier Museum-1832); "Algerian Women" (Louvre--1834); "Jewish Wedding in Morocco" (Louvre-1841); "Taking of Constantinople by the Crusaders" (Versailles Museum-1841); "Muley-abd-el-Rahman leaving his palace at Mequinez" (Toulouse Museum-1845); "The Two Foscari" (Collection of the Duc d'Aumale at Chantilly-1855). To his early period belong the famous lithographs of Faust which bought him warm praise from Goethe himself. "Sardanapalus" (Salon, 1828), another early chef-d'oeuvre, drew from Vitet the remark that "Delacroix etait devenu la pierre de scandale des Expositions", while Delécluze called it "une erreur de peintre". "Richelieu Saying Mass", was ordered by the Duke Louis Philippe d'Orléans, while "The Death of Charles the Bold" was ordered by the Minister of the Interior. "The Murder of the Archbishop of Liège", the canvas which actually assured his contemporary fame, was probably the best of all his pictures. From this on, masterpieces follow one another until adverse criticism could no longer seriously affect his position in the world of art.

Appreciation of His Work
The real founder of the nineteenth-century French School of art, Delacroix stands alone and unsurpassed. The difficulties he had to contend with came from his forcing upon an ignorant public a new school wholly opposed to that of David, which was insincere in its coldness and artificiality, conventional, and absolutely unsympathetic. Though one can find in Delacroix almost all of the best points of men like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Correggio, from the moment he shook off the influence of Géricault — so manifest in "Dante and Virgil" — he threw himself entirely on the resources of his own genius. On the eve of finishing "Massacre of Scio" he had occasion to notice some works of Constable, and there discovered and made his own a principle of art which so many masters have failed to appreciate, viz. that in nature, what seems to be of one colour is really made up of many shades, discovered only by the eye which knows how to see. Thereafter colouring had no secret for him. Delacroix was an artist in a supreme degree. Possessed of a deep knowledge of history, he studied each group and each individual in a series of sketches, which were retouched again and again; only then did they take place in the ensemble. With the instinct of a poet he saw vividly the scene he was painting. His artistic sense kept him from falling into the melodramatic but he remains tragic, and it is for this tragic note, which finds expression in so many bloody themes, that he is generally criticized. Delacroix worked with an unerring instinct of composition, avoiding the monotony of regular line by the varied attitudes of his figures. He excelled in the various branches of his art, and his decorative pictures in the Gallery of Apollo at the Louvre, the drawing-room of the king, the chamber of deputies, and St-Sulpice are as excellent as his canvases. There is hardly a tragedy of the human soul which is not reproduced in his work. He is not popular because the multitude wants pleasure, and Delacroix, like Pascal, does not make one laugh; he terrifies. In the "Murder of the Bishop of Liège", before admiration comes one has shivered at the vivid portrayal of human ferocity; in the "Christ in the Garden of Gethsemani" there is no human sorrow equal to that. Delacroix is the highest manifestation of French genius in art; he not only honours France, but mankind, and is one of those who emerson said were "representative of humanity".

1798–1863, French painter. Delacroix is considered the foremost painter of the romantic movement in France; his influence as a colorist is inestimably great.

He studied in Guérin's studio with Géricault, who became a major influence on his work. Delacroix enriched his neoclassical training with acute attention to the works of Rubens, Michelangelo, Veronese, and the Venetian school, and later Constable, Bonington, and the English watercolorists. When his first major work, The Bark of Dante (Louvre), had been exhibited in the Salon in 1822 and purchased by the government, he was, to his own surprise, recognized as the leader of the opposition to the neoclassical school of David. In temperament and choice of subjects he was a romantic, as revealed by his dramatic interpretation of scenes from mythology, literature, and political, religious, and literary history.

In 1824 Delacroix painted much of his Massacre at Chios (Louvre). The violence of the subject matter and ravishing color of this work and of The Death of Sardanapalus (1827; Louvre) were heavily condemned by some critics. In England in 1825 he spent several months absorbing English painting and making numerous studies of horses. As a tribute to Byron and the Greek War of Independence he painted Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1827; Bordeaux).
The four months Delacroix spent in Morocco in 1832 provided him with visual material that he drew upon for the rest of his life. There he filled seven fat notebooks with brilliant watercolor sketches and notes. His continuing fascination with the exotic was revealed by Women of Algiers (1834; Louvre) and The Jewish Wedding (1839; Louvre). His powerful Entrance of the Crusaders into Constantinople (1841; Louvre) is a compelling, epic work of history painting.

Delacroix's other major sources were the works and lives of major literary figures. In 1820 he made 17 bizarre and exciting lithographs for Goethe's Faust. He used Shakespeare often in several media (e.g., Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard, 1839; Louvre). He was also inspired by turbulent scenes from the plays and poems of Byron (e.g., Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha, 1827; Art Inst. of Chicago), from the novels of Scott, and from a number of other literary works. He also created many strong paintings on religious themes.

Delacroix's Self-Portrait (1835–37; Louvre) reveals a thin, dynamic, yet reserved countenance. He also portrayed many notable contemporaries, including Paganini (1832; Phillips Coll., Washington, D.C.) and, in 1838, his close friends Chopin (Louvre) and George Sand (Copenhagen). Of his animals in motion, the watercolor Tiger Attacking a Horse (1825–28; Louvre) and The Lion Hunt (1861; Art Inst. of Chicago) are characteristic. During the last three decades of his life he secured numerous public commissions. His decorations in the Palais Bourbon (1833–47; Paris), the Palais de Luxembourg (1841–46), and the Church of Saint-Sulpice (1853–61) are examples of his genius as a muralist. His work is best represented in the Louvre.


http://www.wikipedia.org/ ~ You get pictures, and a biography too (I suppose its for a higher grade because of the paintings they view, mabye around grade 6-8 ;). Its your choice though :)..)
http://www.dropbears.com/a/art/biography/Eugene_Delacroix.html ~ Still 6-8 but good source for a biography..
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0815012.html ~ This time any grade... Good biography!
www.abcgallery.com/D/delacroix/delacroix.html ~ Pictures of his paintings, and a short bio, some of the pictures are around 6-12.
There are some other links that I cannot find.

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