Fascinated by the rich romanticism of this period, the grand historical themes and the growth towards expressionist work- all against the political fury of France at that time!
Eugène Delacroix started painting at a challenging time. Apart from the dramatic political changes that brought first the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon as Emperor in 1804, his abdication and exile a decade later, then the Bourbon Restoration, painting was on the change as well.
Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799), oil on canvas, 385 x 522 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Wikimedia Commons.
The dominant Neoclassical style of Jacques-Louis David was on the wane. With the end of Napoleon’s empire, David had been put on the list of proscribed individuals, and had gone into self-exile in Brussels. Following his death at the end of 1825, only his heart was allowed to return to France for burial. Delacroix described David’s The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799) as “earthy, bleak and lifeless”.
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1774–1833), Phaedra and Hippolytus (1815), oil on canvas, dimensions not known, Musée des Beaux-Arts…
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