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Virtual Delacroix

November 30, 2011

Wonders of the modern world – if you want to see the greatest paintings you don’t need to hop on a train or get a flight to another country. Virtual exhibitions are becoming very popular and even though they can’t offer the whole spectrum of emotions, they offer a good glimpse at the artwork of the best.

Just the other day I came across the virtual Delacroix. Well, it’s actually a virtual gallery created by the Spanish “la Caixa” Foundation together with the French Louvre, where you can see the paintings of the French Romantic artist Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, currently shown in Madrid (until 15th of January, 2012). I’m impressed with the quality of the website and I know how much work must have gone into creating something like that, I’d also like to have such gallery for the Décor-Art’s virtual exhibitions, yet it’s a bit disappointing that not every painting can be seen up close…

Anyway, even if you don’t know much about Delacroix, I can soon whet your appetite. I’m sure you’ve seen the most patriotic painting ever, his Liberty Leading the People.

Eugène Delacroix "Liberty Leading the People" (1830), Louvre

Being English don’t turn your nose up at this painter (or is it just a stereotype?), this French artist was a fine lithographer and illustrated various works of William Shakespeare and the Scottish writer Walter Scott. He also was inspired by Lord Byron and shared a strong identification with the “forces of the sublime”, of nature in often violent action.

Eugène Delacroix "The Death of Ophelia", 1843

Do visit this exhibition, that “features more than 130 works from public and private collections in Europe and America that reconstruct the painter’s development, from his origins, when he took inspiration from artworks and literary texts, to his final years, marked by a synthesis of all that had gone before. One of the greatest attractions of Delacroix (1798-1863) is the opportunity it gives audiences of seeing at first-hand many works that have become references in our visual culture.”

Please click on this link.

About the Artist

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) – the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement.

In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modeled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic.

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