Saturday, April 28, 2018

Delacroix at the Louvre

John and I visited  the Louvre this week and went directly to the new Delacroix, 1798-1863 retrospective. It is the first major retrospective show of his works since 1963.
There are 180 works on display -- paintings, lithographs, drawings and watercolours.
Portrait of Eugene Delacroix, 1858 by Nadar. Isn't it amazing to have a photograph of a man born in the 18th century!
The inevitable crowds made it hard to see the most famous paintings like this one -- July 28, Liberty Guides the People, 1830.
We had better luck with this elegant, life-sized, Portrait of Louis Auguste Schwiter, 1827-1828.
I am more excited by Delacroix's watercolours and studies, like this one, a study for
The Death of Sardanapolus (small version), 1844-1846.
Crowds also surrounded the Lion Hunt, 1854, here seen in a relatively quiet moment.
John managed to get this detail of a lion chewing the rump of a horse, from the upper right of the painting. Light was very low in the exhibition hall. John told me his Nikon gave him only a blur, but his phone gave him this sharp image. Who would have thought...
John's Nikon did deliver this snapshot of some of the passionate visitors.
Now let's turn to my chief interest in Delacroix --  the drawings and watercolours. Here's his lovely pastel drawing, Perseus and Andromeda, 1853. It's difficult not to see possible influence on late 19th century artist's like Odilon Redon in this drawing.
Come and enjoy some watercolours with me. Look at this spectacular Unmade Bed from 1825-1828.
A courtyard in Tangier, 1832
An Arab sitting with hands crossed, graphite and watercolour, also 1832.
Horse frightened by thunder, watercolour, 1825-1829.
The Education of Achilles, graphite, 1838-1842.
Sunset on the Sea, watercolor over graphite on paper, c.1854
John got this detail of the brush strokes.
One final treat -- we both swooned over Delacroix' sketchbooks.
The sketchbooks were tiny.
Here is a closer look at the book above, filled with Moroccan notes and loose studies.
 Here's another book -- Notes and drawings done in Tangier, 1832, 
and a detail therefrom. The Delacroix Exhibition at the Louvre continues until July 23rd.


  1. The drawings and watercolours! Thank you for the brush work details. LOVED this tour of Delacroix.

  2. Love the watercolours. So beautiful.