Eugène Delacroix is a French painter born in 1798 in Charenton-Saint-Maurice and died in 1863 in Paris. Noticed at the Salon in 1824, he produced in the following years works inspired by historical or literary anecdotes as well as contemporary events or a trip to the Maghreb. At forty, his reputation is sufficiently established to receive large orders from the state.
In the French painting of the nineteenth century, Delacroix is considered the principal representative of romanticism, whose vigor corresponds to the extent of his career. He painted on canvas and decorated the walls and ceilings of public monuments. He also left engravings and lithographs, several articles written for magazines and a Journal published shortly after his death and several times reissued.
Eugène Delacroix, the fourth child of Victoire Œben (1758-1814) and Charles-François Delacroix (1741-1805), was born in 1798 at 2 rue de Paris in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, near Paris, in a large mansion Of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which still exists.
Charles-François Delacroix first secretary of Turgot in Limoges, followed him to Paris in 1 Deputy of the Marne 3 of September of 1792, under the Convention, it votes the death of the king. Three years later, he became Minister of External Affairs from 4 November 1795 to 18 July 1797, and then Minister in Holland from 6 November 1797 to June 1. He was appointed Rte of the Empire and appointed Prefect of Marseilles on 2 March 1800, Then three years later, on April 23, 1803 (3 Floréal, Year XI), prefect of the Gironde where he died on November 4, 1805 and where he rests, in the cemetery of the Chartreuse
Victoire Œben, seventeen years younger than her husband, comes from a family of renowned cabinetmakers, the Œben. At the death in 1763 of his father Jean-François Œben, famous cabinetmaker of Louis XV, Victoire is five years old. Three years later, in 1766, his mother Françoise Vandercruse, sister of the cabinetmaker Roger Vandercruse, remarried with the cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener, a pupil of his first husband. This second union was born on 6 August 1767 Henri-François Riesener, painter, half-brother of Victoire and uncle of Eugène Delacroix who will have a son, the painter Léon Riesener, of his union with Félicité Longrois.
Charles-Henri Delacroix, the eldest of the children of Victoire and Charles-Francois Delacroix, was born on January 9th. He had a fine career in the Imperial armies. Promoted to an honorary field marshal in 1815, he was demobilized with the rank of general (but half-pay)
Henriette was born on 4 January 1782 and died on 6 April. She married on 1 December 1797 Raymond de Verninac-Saint-Maur (1762-1822) 6, a diplomat of whom she had a son, Charles de Verninac (1803-1834) , The future nephew of Eugene. At the request of her husband, David made his portrait (Musée du Louvre), in 1799, in a genre he develops during the last years of the Revolution, the model seated, cut to the knees, Also to the sculptor Joseph Chinard (1756-1813) his bust in Diane huntress preparing his features (1808, museum of the Louvre)
Henri, born in 1784, was killed at the age of 23 on June 14, 1807, at the Battle of Friedland.
Victoire Œben dies on 3 September 1 The settlement of the maternal succession ruins the Delacroix family. This disaster swallowed up all the fortunes of the children; A property that the artist’s mother had bought to cover a debt must be sold at a loss. The Verninac collect the young Eugene who remained in a great destitution
Noting that the painter’s father suffered from a voluminous testicular tumor for fourteen years and up to a few months before the birth of Eugene, some authors inferred that his father would have been another man, Talleyrand, credited with many connections Who replaced Charles-François Delacroix in External Affairs on July 16, 1797b. This opinion is vigorously disputed.
In December 1797, the military surgeon Ange-Bernard Imbert-Delonnes (1747-1818) published a brochure about the ablation of this sarcocele on 13 September 1797. This was a medical first. The bulletin, communicated to the Institute, indicates that the operation was successful and that Citizen Charles Delacroix was completely restored after sixty days. Eugène Delacroix was born seven months after the intervention. However, for A. Camelin, Charles Delacroix’s tumor was not necessarily an obstacle to procreation
If there are serious reasons for believing that Charles-Francois Delacroix could not be his father, those who make the artist a natural son of Talleyrand are less solid. Caroline Jaubert evokes in 1880 this rumor in the description of a salon scene that would have taken place around 1840d. For several historians like Raymond Escholier “between the mask of the prince of Beneventum and that of Delacroix there is an astonishing resemblance the features of Delacroix do not recall those of his brother the general, nor those of his sister Henrietta, Eugene Delacroix was one of those sons of love, so often endowed with prestigious gifts
Talleyrand, however, was blond and pale, while Baudelaire, describing their friend Eugene Delacroix with black hair, very black, speaks of a “complexion of Peruvian” and Théophile Gautier with an air of “maharadjah.”
Emmanuel de Waresquiel recalls the absence of serious sources for this supposed paternity and concludes: “All those who have loved to force the trait of their character, have allowed themselves to be tempted, without worrying about the rest, or especially about the sources or rather the Lack of sources. Once and for all, Talleyrand is not the father of Eugene Delacroix. We only lend to the rich…
Talleyrand is in any case a close relation of the Delacroix family and one of the occult protectors of the artist It would have facilitated the purchase by Baron Gérard of the Massacres of Scio, presented at the Salon of 1824 and today in the museum of the Louvre), for a sum of 6,000 francs. Talleyrand’s grandson, the Duc de Morny, president of the legislative body and uterine half-brother of Napoleon III, made Delacroix the official painter of the Second Empire, Emperor preferred Winterhalter and Meissonnier The tutelary shadow of Talleyrand extends through Adolphe Thiers, of which he is the mentor. Thiers’ support seems to have helped Delacroix obtain several important orders, notably the decoration of the Salon du Roi, at the Palais Bourbon, and part of the decoration of the Senate Library, at the Palais du Luxembourg.
This protection does not establish a natural paternity, and Maurice Sérullaze avoids to pronounce on this subject while many others refuse this hypothesis, the border between a real resemblance and the phenomenon of paréidolie being tenuous
Beyond the interest of curiosity, opinions in this controversy reflect the importance that commentators want to attribute to individual talent and character, to social and family relations, or even to heredity, to success From Delacroix.
At the death of his father, Eugene is only 7 years old. The mother and the son left Bordeaux for Paris In January 1806, they lived at 50 rue de Grenelle6, in the apartment of Henriette and Raymond de Verninac From October 1806 to the summer of 1815, Delacroix attended an elite establishment , The Lycée Impérial (now the Lycée Louis-le-Grand) where he received a good education.
His readings are classic: Horace, Virgil, but also Racine, Corneille and Voltaire. He learned Greek and Latin. The many drawings and sketches scribbled on his notebooks already attest to his artistic gifts. He met at the Imperial High School his first confidants: Jean-Baptiste Pierret (1795-1854), Louis (1790-1865) and Félix (1796-1842) Guillemardet, and Achille Piron (1798-1865) They shared his bohemian life Remained faithful until the end of his life.
He also received an early musical education, taking lessons with an old organist, who loved Mozart. This music master, who has noticed the child’s talents, recommends his mother to make a musician. But the death of his father in 1805 put an end to this possibility. Paganini played the violin (1831, Philipps Collection of Washington), and he continued to participate in the musical life of Paris, seeking the company of composers, singers and instrumentalists.
In 1815, his uncle, Henri-François Riesener, brought him into the workshop of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, where he had as his fellow-students Paul Huet, Léon Cogniet, Ary and Henry Scheffer, and Charles-Henri de Callande de Champmartin The knowledge of Théodore Géricault, seven years his elder, who had a capital influence on his art Guérin’s teaching is both classical and liberal. He teaches the neo-classical principle of the primacy of drawing on color, the return to the Ancient dear to the German Winckelmann, but is not closed to new ideas.
In March 1816, Delacroix pursued his apprenticeship, always with Guérin, at the Beaux-Arts where teaching is less expensive than in a private studio. Teaching favors the drawing and copying of teachers. Thanks to the work card in the Cabinet des Estampes of the National Library, which he acquired on July 13, 1816, he copied for several years manuscripts from collections of medieval costumes. His results in the competitions and examinations of the School of Fine Arts did not allow him to hope for a Roman stay; In 1820, it fails the first part of the Prix de Rome. At the same time, he found small works: industrial design, decoration of apartments, theater costumes; The low rent of the inheritance is not sufficient to meet its needs
In 1816 Delacroix meets Charles-Raymond Soulier, a watercolorist amateur anglophile student of Copley Fielding returned from England. This friend and Richard Parkes Bonington familiarize Delacroix with the art of watercolor, which distances him from the academic standards taught at the Fine Arts. The British associate watercolor with gouache and use various processes such as the use of gums, varnishes and scrapings. Soulier also taught her the basics of the English language
From 24 April to the end of August 1825, he traveled to England. He discovered Shakespeare’s theater by attending the performances of Richard III, Henry IV, Othello, The Marchand of Venice and The Tempest two years before an English troupe moved to Paris. He also attended an adaptation of Goethe’s Faust. Delacroix will find subjects in the theater throughout his career: Hamlet and Horatio at the cemetery (1835, Frankfurt) and Hamlet and the two grave diggers (1859, Musée du Louvre). These subjects mingled until his death with oriental, literary, historical or religious themes. From this journey, the technique of watercolor acquires importance in his work It will be of great help to him during his trip in North Africa, to be able to restore all the colors.
In 1819, for the first time, Delacroix tackled the decoration with the dining room of the private mansion of M. Lottin de Saint-Germain, in the Ile de la Cité. He finishes the door-tops in the Pompeian style before March 1. From this ensemble that has disappeared, nothing remains but the drawings and projects, figures, allegorical or mythological scenes deposited in the Louvre.
The tragedian Talma confided to him in 1821 for the decoration of the dining room of the mansion that he was built four door tops at 9 rue de la Tour-des-Dames in Montmartre, presenting the four seasons in style Greco-Roman inspired by the frescoes of Herculaneum, like those of M. Lottin. The Louvre possesses a certain number of preparatory drawings and projects, the remainder being preserved in a private collection in Paris.
The Virgin of the Harvests (1819, St Eutrope d’Orcemont Church, near Rambouillet), influenced by the Florentine Madonnas of Raphael, notably La Belle jardinière (1507-1508, Louvre Museum)
The Virgin of the Sacred Heart (1821, Cathedral of Ajaccio), recalls Michelangelo by the massive and static aspect of the figure of the Virgin. The interior ministry commissioned this altarpiece for the cathedral of Saint-Pierre from Nantes to Géricault, who, uninterested in the subject, subcontracted it to Delacroix who had urgent needs for money. Batissier revealed the substitution in 1842 in the Revue du XIXe siècle
In 1822 Delacroix, desirous of making a name for himself in painting and finding a way out of his financial difficulties, appeared for the first time at the Salon with Dante’s Barque or Dante and Virgil in Hell that the State bought for 2 000 francs, for the 2,400 he asked for. The reactions of the critics are vivid, even virulent. “A true tartouilladeg,” writes Étienne-Jean Delécluze, a pupil of Jacques-Louis David and defender of his school of David, in the Moniteur of May 18. However, Adolphe Thiers, then young journalist, evokes “the future of a great painter Antoine-Jean Gros, an admirer of Dante’s Barque, describes the painter as “Rubens chastised.”
Having defined his subject very late, in mid-January, Delacroix must work urgently in order to be ready to exhibit at the Official Salon, from 24 April. It uses varnishes that cause faster drying of colors, but compromise the conservation of its canvas. The underlying dark layers drying faster than the clear layers on the surface cause enormous cracks and cracks. In February 1860 he obtained permission to restore it himself
The theme, taken from Dante’s Hymn VIII, is unpublished for the period. The contemporaries, having only a superficial knowledge of Dante’s work, always illustrate the same episodes: the story of Ugolin (Hell, song XXXIII), Paolo and Francesca (Hell, chant V), and La Barque de Charon (Hell III). The choice of the anecdote and a format until that time reserved for religious, mythological or historical subjects for this literary painting show the novelty of Delacroix, who wants to prove that he is a real painter, and that He mastered the different parts of his art: nude, drapery, expression
For this picture, the influences are multiple. The critic points out similarities between Dante’s Barque and the Medusa’s Raft (1819, Musée du Louvre), a close-up view, a boat, raging waves, in order to lessen its importance
Théodore Géricault has influenced Delacroix considerably, particularly at the beginning of his career. He borrows his way: strong contrasts of shadows and lights giving relief and modeling. It also uses some of its colors: vermillons, Prussian blue, browns, colored whites. The Turkish officer capturing the Greek slave of the Scene of the Scio Massacres (1824, Louvre Museum) was inspired by Géricault’s (1812, Musée du Louvre) hunting horseman. When he died On January 26, 1824, Delacroix becomes in spite of himself the leader of the Romanticism
The influence of Michelangelo appears with the imposing musculatures of the damned (recalling one of the two slaves of the Louvre) and the woman, derived from a male prototype. The figure of Phlegias, the nocher, charged with driving Dante and Virgil To the infernal city of Dite, refers to the Antique and the Torso of the Belvedere (4th century BC, Pio-Clementino Museum in Rome). The naïades of the Landing of Marie de Medicis in Marseilles by Rubens (1610, Musée du Louvre) inspire the coloring by small touches of pure colors juxtaposed with drops of water on the bodies of damned. Delacroix produced a study: Torso of a Mermaid, after the Landing of Mary of Medici (Kunstmuseum Basel)
Under the influence of Géricault and with the encouragement of Gros, Delacroix multiplied the studies of horses from nature in the years 1 to 15 April of this year, he notes in his diary: “It is absolutely necessary to Make horses. Go to a stable every morning; Go to bed very early and get up likewise. ” A study program including visits to the stables or to the riding arena is established. The constitution of this encyclopedia will serve him for his future paintings
With Scene of the massacres of Scio, which Delacroix presents in 1824 at the Official Salon, as with Greece on the ruins of Missolonghi two years later, Delacroix participates in the philhellene movement. He obtains the second-class medal and the State buys 6,000 francs, and then exposes it to the museum of Luxembourg The canvas is inspired by an actual fact: the massacre of the population of the Island of Chio by the Turks, occurred in April 1 From this date, Delacroix has the idea to paint a painting on this theme that he abandons to the benefit of The Bark of Dante
For the elaboration of his painting, Delacroix carried out iconographic research at the National Library and obtained from M. Auguste the loan of Oriental costumes brought back from his travels in the Orient. A carneth used around 1820-1825 mentions the consultation of the Letters on Greece by Claude-Étienne Savary as well as sketches made according to the Turkish and Oriental customs and customs drawn in the country, by the draftsman Rosset (1790)
M. Auguste, a former sculptor who became a watercolorist and a pastel artist, brought remarkable studies and a whole series of objects from his travels in Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor and Morocco: cloth, costumes, weapons and various trinkets. He is considered the initiator of Orientalism, in France. His influence on Delacroix and his art is very strong, especially between 1824 and 1832, when he traveled to North Africa
The critics, most of the artists and the public welcomed the picture. Delacroix’s colleagues like Girodet reproached him with his way of painting, his negligence with respect to drawing, as Delécluze had done in 1 Gros had appreciated La Barque Of Dante; He welcomed the scene of the massacres of Scio, declaring that it was the “Massacre of the painting”. Some criticism, pointing out the influence of the plague of Jaffa de Gros, wrote that he had “washed the pallet of Gros badly.” Thiers, however, continues his unwavering support in The Constitutional: “M. Delacroix has proved a great talent, and raised doubts by succeeding the picture of the Greeks with that of Dante,” 59 like Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire who Devoted a poem to one of his salons. This picture places him as the standard-bearer of the romantics, which he deplores, not wanting to be affiliated with any school.
The painter also presents three other paintings at the Salon: Tête de vieille femme (Orleans Museum of Fine Arts) and Young Orphan in the Cemetery (Musée du Louvre), and outside the catalog, Le Tasse dans la maison des fous ). Between 1823 and 1825 he painted several paintings of Greeks dressed in palikares (Greek soldiers fighting the Turks during the War of Independence) and Turks, some of which were used as scenes of the massacres of Scio. At the Official Fair, Delacroix had the opportunity to see paintings by John Constable, which his merchant Arrowsmith presented, including La Carrette à foin (1821, National Gallery of London) 61, which was awarded the gold medal. An anecdote is that after seeing this painting, he decided to remake the sky of the Scene of the massacres of Scio, after having asked the permission of the Count of Forbin, director of the museums
During his journey to England, from May to August 1825, Delacroix visited Hampstead and Westminster Abbey, which he drew inspiration for the Assassination of the Bishop of Liège (1831, Louvre Museum). He met Sir David Wilkie, a history, genre and portrait painter, as well as Thomas Lawrence, whom he saw in his studio. He admired his style and portraits very much, and was inspired by his portrait of David Lyon (around 1825, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum) for that of Baron Schwiter (1826-1830, National Gallery of London).
In the 1820s Delacroix, his eldest son, seven-year-old, met his friend Jean-Baptiste Pierret, Louis-Auguste Schwiter (1805-1889) for the first time. They were very close friends63 and both great admirers of the English portraitist. He also visited Dr Samuel Rush Merrick, an antique dealer who was well known for his very fine collection of weapons and armor he studied with Richard Parkes Bonington whom he had seen in London. Two men shared the same tastes for the Middle Ages, whence the common studies which they made together: several leaves having been successively imputed to each other.
From 1826, Delacroix frequents Victor Hugo and his cenacle. At first, a group is formed around two representatives of the official literature: Charles Nodier and Alexandre Soumet. This first cenacle first met in the apartment of Nodier, Rue de Provence, then at the Library of the Arsenal where he had been appointed librarian Their common interest for the Middle Ages gave rise to the “troubadour style”: Ingres and Delacroix have both produced small-format paintings in this style.
In parallel and since 1823, the friends of Victor Hugo form a kind of school around the poet. More and more numerous, this second group constituted from 1828 and in 1829 the second cenacle: Hugo becoming the leader of the romantic movement to which the members of the first cenacle will rally. In 1830, the relations between Delacroix and Hugo deteriorated; The poet reproaching him for his lack of commitment to Romanticism
On April 25, 1826, the Ottomans took Missolonghi, the stronghold of the Greek independents. On May 24, Lebrun welcomed in his gallery an exhibition to raise funds to support the Greek cause. This is to alert public opinion while the French government advocates neutrality. Delacroix first presents Doge Marino Faliero (Wallace collection of London), Don Juan and An officer killed in the mountains, whom he replaces in June, by Le Combat du Giaour and Hassan and in August by Greece On the ruins of Missolonghi (Museum of Fine Arts of Bordeaux). For this allegory of Greece, it is inspired by the Ancient Victories and the Marian figure, with its blue mantle and white tunic. This interpretation of the subject defeats the critics, except Victor Hugo.
At the official Salon of 1827-1828, Delacroix exhibited several works. The criticism unanimously rejects La Mort de Sardanapale (Musée du Louvre). On 21 March, Étienne-Jean Delécluze stated in the Journal des débats that it was a “painter’s mistake”. The next day, for La Gazette de France, it is the “worst picture of the Salon”. However, Delacroix did not want to shock his peers, but rather to convince them of his genius by his references to the art of the past, by the multiplicity of his sources of ” Inspiration and by the choice of its theme in the ancient Orient.
The unrest caused by the presentation of the painting hinders his friends, who do not intervene to defend him. Victor Hugo did not take his part publicly, although he showed his enthusiasm in a letter to Victor Pavis of April 3, 1828, in which he wrote: “Do not think that Delacroix has failed. Its Sardanapale is a magnificent thing and so gigantic that it escapes the small views. The painter is also the victim of the good words of the humorists, whom he does not appreciate, despite his taste for puns. This time the painting is not bought, and the superintendent of fine arts, Sosthène de La Rochefoucauld 1785-1864) invites him to “change his way”; Which he categorically refuses. The violence of the attacks will precipitate his quarrel with the Romantic movement. He writes that he is removed for five years from public commissions, but this is not the case, from the following year he obtains
Ingres, a neo-classical painter and obstinate rival of Dela Croix, presented that year at the Salon Apotheose of Homer. He represents classical painting, as Delacroix represents romantic painting, and will be perceived as Delacroix’s main rival throughout his life. Through these two artists, two opposing conceptions of painting confront each other: the disegno (drawing) and l The erasing of the artist behind the subject, for the classics, the colorito and the affirmation of the expression and the individual touch, for the romantics. With The Apotheosis of Homer and the Death of Sardanapalus, the two artists affirm their doctrines. In the nineteenth century, the quarrel of color between chinist and rubenist was renewed in the nineteenth century with new oppositions, in addition to that between color and line.
In 1828, Charles Motte, publisher rue des Marais, published Faust, the tragedy of Goethe translated by Philipp Albert Stapfer, illustrated with a suite of 17 lithographs by Delacroix. Goethe testifies to his enthusiasm in a letter from Weimar to his friend Johann Peter Eckermann and believes that he was able to translate the scenes he had imagined
After the visit of Charles X to Nancy, Delacroix receives on August 28, 1828 command of the Minister of the Interior a painting that the king wants to offer to the city Finished in 1831, The Death of Charles the bold or The Bold, more commonly Called The Battle of Nancy (Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy) will only be exhibited at the Salon in 183 Suit in December 1828 or January 1829 commissioned two paintings for the Duchess of Berry, widow of the younger son of the king: Quentin Durward and the Balafré (Museum of Fine Arts of Caen) and The Battle of Poitiers, also known as King John at the Battle of Poitiers (Louvre Museum), completed
At the request of Duke Louis-Philippe of Orléans, Delacroix painted a large painting (420 × 300 cm) for his historic gallery at the Palais Royal, Richelieu saying his Mass (1828) or Cardinal de Richelieu in his chapel at Palais-Royal, destroyed during the Revolution of 1848 and of which only one lithograph remains of Ligny appearing in the History of the Royal Palace by Jean Vatout (1830?)
In January he again solicited him for another painting inspired by Walter Scott, the Assassination of the Bishop of Liège (Musée du Louvre), first presented at the Royal Academy in 1830, then at the Salon de 1831, and finally At the Universal Exposition of 1855 in Paris and London in 1 An anecdote circulates about this painting, concerning a white tablecloth, the principal point of this scene, which Delacroix had difficulty in painting. Drawing one evening at his friend Frédéric Villot, the painter would have fixed an ultimatum, declaring: “Tomorrow I attack this accursed tablecloth that will be for me Austerlitz or Waterloo”. And it was Austerlitz For the framework of the vault, he had been inspired by sketches made at the Palace of Justice of Rouen and the old hall of Westminster which he had visited during his stay in London.
Delacroix wrote from 1830 five articles of art criticism for the Revue de Paris, which Louis Véron founded the previous year. The first, devoted to Raphael, appeared in May and the second, to Michelangelo, in July Expresses his aesthetic convictions and his admiration for these two artists, who have had a great influence on his work.
The jury composed of Guérin (1774-1833), Gros and Ingres gives the Mirabeau to Hesse, a pupil of Gros and the Boissy d’Anglas at Vinchon, Rome Prize. 1 Achille Ricourt, writer and journalist, founder of L’Artiste, will make Of this decision an injustice with regard to the romantic cause. Louis Boulanger writes: “My painter is Delacroix. All this is alive, all moving, twisting and accelerating the movement of blood in your arteries … It is the accent of nature grasped in its most unexpected, precious qualities, which alone reveal the great painter , But which unfortunately reveal too often to too few.
The magazine also publishes the long “Letter on the Contracts Delacroix wrote on March 1, 1831, in order to accentuate the controversy. It is a violent indictment against the competitions, opposing the mediocre ones, to the Rubens, the Raphaels, the Hoffmanns, A tone full of irony The sketch he had made for the second subject, Mirabeau before Dreux-Brézé, is now on display at the Musée national Eugène-Delacroix. The third subject, Boissy d’Anglas, Riot, is found at the Museum of Fine Arts of Bordeaux
In 1831, Delacroix presented at the Salon, which opened its doors that year on April 14, La Liberté guiding the people. The painting, numbered 511 in the catalog of the Salon, is titled July 28 or La Liberté guiding the people, a title that he will later retain. He painted it in order to erase the memories of his previous failure in the Salon of 1827, and to attract the good graces of the new power, and thus again benefit from public commissions. It is bought for 3,000 francs by Louis-Philippe88 in order to be exhibited at the Royal Museum, then at the Palais du Luxembourg.
His painting is presented there only a few months. Hippolyte Royer-Collard, director of the Fine Arts, had her placed in the reserves, lest her subject should encourage the riots. Edmond Cavé, his successor, allowed Delacroix to take her back in 1 She was again exposed in 1848; However, a few weeks later, the painter was invited to take it back. Thanks to Jeanron, director of the museums and to Frederic Villot, curator at the Louvre, La Liberté guiding the people joined the museum’s reserves in Luxembourg With the agreement of Napoleon III, it will be exhibited at the Universal Exhibition of 1 The Louvre Museum exhibits it permanently from November
Its subject evokes the street fights that took place during the revolutionary days of July 27, 28 and 29, also known as “The Three Glorious”. A young woman with a bare chest, wearing a Phrygian cap, holding a tricolorei flag, depicts the allegory of La Liberté. She walks armed, accompanied by a street child brandishing pistols. To the left of the picture, a young man in a frock-coat and wearing a top hat holds a splinter (a blundered gun with two parallel guns) A legend tells that this young man represents Delacroix and that he participated in the insurrection. The unreliable evidence of Bonapartist opinions would have been enlisted at most in the National Guard, restored on 30 July 1830 after being abolished in 1827, Treasury of the Crown, already already in the Louvre
Lee Johnson, British specialist of Delacroix, identifies the young man as Étienne Arago, ardent republican, director of the Vaudeville theater of 1830 to it was also the opinion of Jules Claregie in 188 As for the street child, it would have inspired Victor Hugo (1802-1885) for his character of Gavroche, des Misérables, published
The critic accepts the painting in moderation. Delécluze writes in the Journal des débats of May 7: “… This painting paints with verve, colored in several of its parts with a rare talent, quite reminiscent of the way of Jouvenet …. Other critics find the figure of Liberty unacceptable, that they call it “poissarde, public girl, faubourienne”. His realism disturbs: the nakedness of his chest, the hairiness of the armpits
His absence from the museum for years makes him a republican icon. The sculptor François Rude will be inspired by his departure of the volunteers on the Arc de triomphe of the Étoile In 1924, the painter, Maurice Denis, will resume this subject to adorn the dome of the Petit Palais. It was used as a poster for the reopening of the Louvre in 1945 and then adorned the old 100-franc note
Delacroix was agitated by the quarrels between the classics and the romantic or modern. On 27 June 1831 he wrote to the painter Henri Decaisne (1799-1852), a member like himself of the Free Society of Painting and Sculpture, founded on 18 October 1830, in order to adopt a common strategy in the face of the powerful influence of The Society of Friends of the Arts, close to Institut de France (created in 1789 and resuscitated in 1817). On the advice of Decaisne, he contacted Auguste Jal, an important art critic, to defend their cause in Le Constitutionnel. In a long letter addressed to M. d’Agoult, Minister of the Interior, in order to set forth their grievances, he pointed out the dangers of separating “official” artists, others from a talent very often bigger. Official recognition was manifested in September 1831 by the award of the Legion of Honor
It was in mid-October 1831 that Louis-Philippe informed Charles-Edgar, Count of Mornay (1803-1878) of his diplomatic mission to Moulay Abd er-Rahman (1778102-1859), sultan of Morocco. To bring a message of peace to the sultan and to the British, well established in terms of trade, in the country. This embassy must close several thorny files, due to the conquest of Algeria by France. His mission will be a success at the moment: Mornay will send on April 4, 1832, a letter declaring to the general-in-chief of the staff of Algiers, Savary, Duke of Rovigo, that Morocco abandons its aims on the region of Tlemcen And Oran, promises to remain neutral and withdraw its troops from Algeria
Eugene Isabey was first approached to join the diplomatic mission in North Africa. Having recently returned from Algiers, he had withdrawn, fearing a second voyage to Africa. Delacroix was chosen to accompany the mission at his own expense. At the end of 1831, the painter and Mornay became acquainted with Edmond-Henri Duponchel (1794-1868) 107, the future director of the opera, and Armand Bertin , Director of the Journal des débats, at the request of Mademoiselle Mars (1779-1847), official mistress of Mornay, and a friend of Duponchel and Bertin, the latter being anxious to find a pleasant traveling companion to her lover Mornay and Delacroix Dine together on New Year’s Eve in the company of the actress
The departure, which was scheduled for the following day at about three o’clock in the morning, took place in the Rue de la Tour-des-Dames in a sedan as far as Toulon, where they embarked on La Perle, a corvette-aviso of 18 guns under the command of Captain de Frigate Ange-François Jouglas The ship leaves Toulon on January 11, 1832, along the coasts of Menorca, Majorca, Malaga and those of the kingdom of Granada, passes near Solobrena and Motril in Spain, stops at Algeciras for refueling and wet Before Tangier on 24 January 1832 at 8 am. Jacques-Denis Delaporte, Consul of France in Tangier welcomes them and takes care of the landing formalities and the finalization of the protocol of reception by the authorities of the city. It was not until the following day that Mornay and his collaborators landed, to settle at the Maison de France. Taking advantage of an interlude, Delacroix walks in Tangier, a notebook in his hand
Although Antoine-Jérôme Desgranges (1784-1864), interpreter of the sultan, accompanies Mornay, he can not oppose Abraham Benchimol joining them: the protocol requires that a European can not directly address To the sultan and that only a Jew was authorized to do so, Delacroix, without prejudice towards the Jews and very interested in their community, became friends with the dragoman in the service of the consulate since 1820 and was thus well received Of his entourage. This allowed him to bite Abraham’s niece, Leditia Azencot, Saada, his wife, and Presciadia and Rachel, his daughters. Thanks to Madame Delaporte, the consort’s wife, he was also able to draw young Muslim women, very frightened by a foreign.
The druggist also allowed him to attend one of the festivities given at a Jewish wedding, on February 21. 1 He has retained traces of it in one of his hardcover books, called Album du Maroc (Acquired by The Louvre Museum in 1983). All the elements gathered, such as the attitude and attitude of certain participants, will help him later to paint La Noce Jeive in Morocco (1841, Musée du Louvre). The two notable events in which Delacroix was able to participate during this trip were this wedding And the interview with the Emperor at Meknes.
The next step in this diplomatic mission was the interview with Moulay Abd er-Rahman. Mornay sent a letter to Meknes to ask for permission to meet him. The 3rd of February, 1832, corresponding to the year 1248 of the Hegira, is proclaimed the beginning of Ramadan which ends with the Feast of Eid es-Sghir, March 4, 1832 During this sacred period of fasting and prayers, The commander of the believers could not receive them. Moreover, the death of Moulay Meimoun, brother of the sovereign, still delayed the departure of the mission This long wait of 42 days113 allowed to appease the anti-French parties and to moderate the demands of the French diplomacy The sovereign gives his authorization the 3rd of March.
On March 5, the delegation departed from Tangier to Meknes, 45 leagues away, accompanied by an escort of soldiers and a pasha for each stage, within the limits of the province where their authority was exercised. In the Oued Mharhar, a first encampment is established in El Arba Aïn-Dalia. On March 6, the mission and the escort pass by Lao Lake, and from the sea, to the right, a view of Cape Spartel. At Souk el-Had el-Gharbia, in the evening, they dine with the guy Mohammed Ben-Abou and make a stop at Tléta Rissana.
On the 8th of March, they leave in the rain and pass the ford of the Wadi Maghazen, a tributary of the Wadi Lukkos. They then lunch at Ouedour, near Ksar El Kebir (also called Alcazarquivir), the site of the Battle of the Three Kings, where on August 4, 1578 Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, his ally Moulay Mohammed, known as El Motaouakir and Sultan Moulay Abd el-Malek Moulay Abd el-Malek won the battle in which the three protagonists died, allowing his brother Al-Mansur to ascend the Sharifian throne
On 9 March they stopped at Ksar el-Kebir, Friday being a day of prayer. In the evening they headed for Wadi Fouarate where the delegation was attacked. Delacroix will remember it for The Perception of the Arab Tax or the Battle of the Arabs in the Mountain, a painting he painted in 1863, the year of his death. It is at Fouarate that a camp Is installed for the night. On the 10th of March, because of the discomfort of the painter and the Sabbath (day of rest of the Jews), the departure of the mission is deferred. They pass all the same the wadi Mda121 and install their encampment in El-Arba of Sidi Aîssa Belhacen.
On the 11th of March, along the Sebou, and on the 12th, a camp is established on the banks of the river, the waters of which are swollen by the rains, are difficult to cross. Delacroix is inspired by these two days to paint a painting entitled, The banks of the river Sebou (1858-1859, Artemis Group, London) On March 13 they arrive at Sidi Kacem. The last encampment of the mission is set up on March 14 at the foot of the Zerhoun, in front of Moulay Idriss, a town established on two irregular heights whose strangers were not allowed to climb the laces. On March 15 they leave Zerhoun to arrive near Of Meknes where they attend great fantasias
Fantasias or powder races were not intended to entertain foreigners, but military exercises supposed to show the skill and skill of Moroccan riders in combat Delacroix was able to see several times of powder races between Tangiers and Meknes
Before returning to Meknes, they must make a complete tour of the city and its ramparts. The delegation stays in the Guest House in the heart of the Berrima district for 8 days, from March 15 to March 22, before To be received by the emperor. On 22 March, the public hearing with Moulay Abd er-Rahman. The delegation on horseback is preceded by the Caid and some soldiers, and followed by those carrying gifts, destined for the sovereign. “The presents sent by Louis-Philippe included a magnificent embroidered saddle, precious weapons, jewels, brocades, silks and watches.
The convoy passes the Jamaa el-Kbir mosque, crosses a cane-covered passage (Souk el-Hdim) and arrives at the square opposite the main gate (el Hdim square). They enter a large courtyard, pass between two hedges of soldiers, on their left is a large esplanade (Lalla Aouda square). They enter further, arriving in a large square, the Mechouar, situated in the quarter of Dar el-Kbir, where they are to meet the sovereign. It is by a “petty and unadorned door” that he appears, mounted on a gray horse, surrounded by his guards on foot and a porter of parasol, who follows him.
For Delacroix, the sultan resembles Louis-Philippe, but younger. After the usual compliments, he ordered Sidi Muchtar to take the letter from the King of the French and guide them in the visit of the royal residence. This ceremony will be recorded in the second album-journal of the painter. From this memorable audience, Delacroix made many sketches, which he used for his large canvas, entitled The Sultan of Morocco Abd Al-Rhaman surrounded by his guard, leaving his palace of Meknes (1845, Museum of the Augustins of Toulouse).
From March 23rd to April 4th, Delacroix visits the city of Meknes: the dry fruit market of El-Hdim, the Mellah (the Jewish quarter where it acquires copper objects), the stud farm, the royal zoo and the ostrich From where the mission takes the animals offered to Louis-Philippe (a lioness, a tiger, two ostriches, a wild ox, a species of antelope, two gazelles and four horses), Bab el-Khmis market. : The Bab-el-Mansur gate, the other monuments of the city, two men playing the ladies met in the Mellah, whom he will remember for his painting of Arabs playing chess (circa 1847-1848, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), also called Moroccans playing chess.
On March 30, a trio composed of two musicians and a singer had come to honor the mission131, at the initiative of the Emperor. These Jewish musicians from Mogador were reputed to be among the great masters of Andalusian music. This event inspired him, in 1847, a composition, titled The Musicians Jews of Mogador (Museum of the Louvre)
The departure of Meknes is given on 5 April at 11 am. The members of the mission resumed their journey almost the same way as on the way. It is April 12 that they arrive in Tangier where they are welcomed by the foreign consuls and the notables. This second stay extends until early May. As a result of great fatigue due to travel, Delacroix falls ill (his fever declares the 16th). However, the painter recovered and took advantage of this convalescence to draw in Tangier and its surroundings
On May 9th, Delacroix borrowed the Pearl for an excursion in Andalusia. Near the coast of Cadiz where the cholera epidemic rages, the boat is quarantined. He took the opportunity to draw two views of the city (album of Chantilly). On the 18th of May he can land to visit the city, notably the convent of the Augustinians, with M. Angrand (1808-1886), vice-consul of France at Cadiz. The studies carried out on the spot will serve him to create, in 1838, a painting entitled Christopher Columbus at the convent of Santa Maria de Rabida (Museum of Art in Toledo)
On the way to Seville it stops near the walls of Jerez de la Frontera which he makes a sketch. Until the evening of May 28, he visited the city of Seville, especially the Alcala, the cathedral and the banks of Guadalquivir, the Giralda, the Cartuja (an old Carthusian monastery) where he admires Zurbaran, Murillo and Goya Thanks to this artist, of whom he had copied some plates of his caprices, in his youth he discovers bullfighting. The notes in his notebook seem to confirm that he was indeed present at a bullfight: watercolor entitled The Picador (Cabinet of the drawings of the Louvre Museum) May 29 ends his stay in Andalusia; On May 30, at Cadiz, he embarked aboard the Pearl to return to Tangier.
The journey Delacroix made in North Africa from the end of January to July 1832 is of primary importance for his technique and aesthetics. He brought back seven notebooks, which constitute the journal of his journey, of which only four remain, of which three are preserved in the Louvre Museum and one in the Condé de Chantilly Museum) and some 800 sheets. They allow us to follow the African painter. He painted more than eighty paintings on “Oriental” themes, including Les Femmes d’Alger in their apartment (1834, Musée du Louvre), Jewish Noce in Morocco (1841, Musée du Louvre), Le Sultan Of Morocco (1845, museum of Augustins of Toulouse).
This journey allows Delacroix, who had never been to Italy, to find “living antiquity.” The letter he addressed to Jean-Baptiste Pierret on January 29, is very eloquent on this subject: “Imagine my friend what it is to see lying in the sun, walking in the streets, mending slippers, characters Consuls, Cato, and Brutus, to whom even the disdainful air which the masters of the world ought to have.
Thanks to a trip to North Africa and his stay in Algeria from Monday 18th to Thursday 28th June 1832, Delacroix would have visited the harem of an old reis of the Dey which he will evoke in his painting of the women of Algiers in their Apartment of the Salon de 1 (Louvre, Cat No. 163), a scene he reproduces from memory in his studio as soon as he returned Poirel, an engineer at the port of Algiers, presented him with a former privateer who agreed to open the doors From his house to the young Frenchman. Delacroix is transported by what he sees: “It is as in the days of Homer, the woman in the gynaeceum, embroidering wonderful fabrics. It is woman as I understand her.
Thanks to this journey, he was one of the first artists to paint the “Orient” from nature, which, besides numerous sketches and watercolors, was worth some beautiful canvases from the vein of the Women of Algiers in Their apartment, an orientalist and romantic painting, orientalism being characteristic of artists and writers in the nineteenth century.