About us
Artists Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix Photo

Eugène Delacroix

French Painter

Movement: Romanticism

Born: April 26, 1798 - Charenton Saint Maurice, Paris, France

Died: August 24, 1863 - Paris, France

Eugène Delacroix Timeline

Quotes

"Nature is a vast dictionary. Painters who follow their imagination seek in the dictionary the elements that will accommodate their conception...Those who have no imagination copy the dictionary."
Eugène Delacroix
"If you're not able to sketch a man who throws himself out of the window in the time it takes him to fall from the fourth floor to the ground, you'll never be able to produce great paintings."
Eugène Delacroix
"Give me the mud from the streets and I shall make of it the delicious tones of a woman's flesh."
Eugène Delacroix
"If by romanticism one means the free manifestation of my personal impulses, distancing myself from the rules set in schools, and my distaste for the recipes of the academy, I must confess that not only am I a romantic, I was from the age of 15."
Eugène Delacroix
"Painting is fortunate in demanding no more than a glance in order to attract and to fix."
Eugène Delacroix
"Adding the finishing touches is very difficult. The danger arises when one reaches a point where reworking is no longer useful, and I am a man prone to reworking."
Eugène Delacroix
"Venice, Parma, Verona have seen color only from the material side. Delacroix touches at moral color; this is his oeuvre and his claim to posterity."
Paul Cézanne
"We all paint in Delacroix's language."
Paul Cézanne
"What I find so fine about Delacroix is precisely that he reveals the liveliness of things, and the expression and the movement, that he is utterly beyond the paint."
Vincent van Gogh

"The primary merit of a painting is to be a feast for the eye."

Eugène Delacroix Signature

Synopsis

Delacroix is widely regarded as the leader of the Romantic movement in 19th-century French art. His life and work embodied the movement's concern for emotion, exoticism, and the sublime, and his painting style - full of lush, agitated brushwork and pulsating with vivid color - was in direct contrast to the cool and controlled delineations of his peer and rival, Ingres. Delacroix eschewed academic conventions in his choice of subjects, favoring scenes from contemporary history rendered on a large scale in the most dramatic of fashions, with visibly energized brushwork and dynamic figural compositions. Delacroix's work also embodies Romanticism's obsession with the exotic Other, seen in his paintings inspired by a transformational trip to North Africa, but his animal pictures can also be viewed in this vein. Interestingly, many of his works were based on direct observation of nature (he was a prodigious draftsman and took an interest in early photography), which he then combined with a narrative imagination, not surprising given his intimacy with many of the most famous writers of his day.

Key Ideas

Many of Delacroix's Salon paintings depicted dramatic scenes drawn from contemporary history as well as literature. Some of the subjects were shocking for their violence and unabashed portrayal of human suffering, such as Death of Sardanapalus and Massacre at Chios. These works signaled a new direction in modern art, one that emphasized emotional content above order and rationality.
Delacroix's animal paintings embody Romanticism's love of all things wild and untamed. He based these works on studies he made in Paris's Jardin des Plantes, where he sketched lions in the zoo, as well as drawings he made of domestic house cats.
Delacroix's modest still lifes are nonetheless masterful in their use of color harmonies and composition, and demonstrate the artist's desire to master all artistic genres, as a true virtuoso. These works would later influence Impressionist artists who rendered the traditional genre of still life in fresh and modern ways.
Delacroix gained many significant commissions to paint public buildings and churches in France. These decorative projects, such as ceiling paintings and wall murals, allowed the artist to work on a larger scale than ever before, and would later influence the Nabis and other Symbolists who sought to free painting from the confines of the easel.
The visual impact of Delacroix's art owes a great deal to his study of color; he understood (and employed) such principles as the division of tones and the harmony of contrasts, both of which would be enormously important for later modernists such as Van Gogh and Seurat.

Biography

Eugène Delacroix Photo

Childhood and Education

Some controversy surrounds the birth of Eugène Delacroix because of the timing of his father's operation to remove a testicular tumor just seven months before his birth. Most believe, however, that he was the youngest of four children born to parents Victorie Oeben and Charles Delacroix, a foreign minister under Napoleon's regime. Delacroix's early life was filled with much loss including the death of his father when he was seven; his brother was killed in battle when he was nine; and his mother passed away in 1814 when he was just sixteen.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Eugène Delacroix Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Eugène Delacroix
Interactive chart with Eugène Delacroix's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Theodore GericaultTheodore Gericault
Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya
MichelangeloMichelangelo
Peter Paul RubensPeter Paul Rubens
Diego VelazquezDiego Velazquez

Personal Contacts

Theophile GautierTheophile Gautier
Dante Alighieri
Lord Byron
William Shakespeare
Adolphe Thiers

Movements

RomanticismRomanticism

Influences on Artist
Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Years Worked: 1816 - 1863
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Gustave CourbetGustave Courbet
Odilon RedonOdilon Redon
Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso

Personal Contacts

Charles BaudelaireCharles Baudelaire
Theophile GautierTheophile Gautier
Theophile Silvestre
Adolphe Thiers

Movements

RomanticismRomanticism
ImpressionismImpressionism
Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
SymbolismSymbolism
ExpressionismExpressionism

If you see an error or typo, please:
tell us
Cite this page

Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
Available from:
[Accessed ]