1798 - 1863 · France
A pioneer of the romantic movement, Eugène Delacroix is considered to be one of the main French painters. His work deals with nobility as much with Antiquity as with contemporary historical subjects such as his most admirable painting, La Liberté Guidant le Peuple. Born on April 26, 1798, Delacroix was initiated from his childhood to the arts of painting, literature, and music, which profoundly influenced the choice of his representations as well as his emblematic brushstroke. He became an apprentice at the workshop of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, where he met Théodore Géricault, who would definitively influence his romantic style. Eugène Delacroix made himself known in 1822 by La Barque de Dante and already favored the general composition of the painting over the aesthetics of the details to give an impression of grandeur to the scene. Romantic, Delacroix’s work is enhanced by the importance of color, which relies heavily on in general form and contrasts with the neoclassicism in vogue at the time. His taste for movement, a lively brushstroke reveals a new way of representing the realism of historical scenes, with dynamic forms, arabesques, and non-symmetrical composition. In his works, Eugène Delacroix also expresses his political commitment. Orientalism is also one of the main aspects of his painting, during his trip to Morocco in 1832, which changed his vision of the Orient for a more exploratory representation of culture and customs. Delacroix creates many watercolors in his notebooks which he also holds for documenting his work, notably his writings and reflections on the work of color. Returning to France, he painted one of his most famous paintings, "Women of Algiers in their apartment", a painting both romantic and orientalist. He also carried out public commissions for the Senate and the Palais Bourbon. Eugène Delacroix died in 1863. He left behind a work of rare richness and pioneering reflections which took the historical painting to a more sensational degree, inspiring artists like Renoir and Picasso. In 2018, Delacroix’s painting Tiger Playing with a Tortoise painted in 1862 broke an auction record for the artist when it sold at Christie’s for $ 9,875,000. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and the Musée Eugène Delacroix.