Last Chance: Delacroix at the Met

This morning we braved the pouring rain and skulked past blocks-long lines to enjoy the most comprehensive retrospective of Delacroix’s work to visit North America (pro tip: line cutting is major perk for all Met members).

Revolutionary French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) came of age after the fall of Napoleon and is renowned as one of the greatest artists of his time. While he is a household figure in France, this exhibit combines and illuminates his many talents and influences; in addition to over 800 paintings and thousands of drawings, the collection features thousands of pages of his journals and ties common threads between his artwork and serious literary preoccupation/inspiration.

Below are a few of my favorite works from the collection. Check them out yourself between now and January 6 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jeune tigre jouant avec sa mère — a young tiger playing with its mother. 

My favorite painting (and among the least violent of the animal set
(of which there were quite a few)

This page features the first known formulation of what would become a credo for Delacroix—that painting is a bridge between artist and viewer, with material advantages over literature:
“When I have done a fine painting, I have not expressed any thoughts. That’s what they say. How simple-minded they are!… A writer says almost everything in order to be understood; painting builds a kind of mysterious bridge between the soul of the characters and that of the spectator.”

A glowing recommendation from Picasso “That bastard. He’s really good.”

Want to learn more? Listen to The Met’s conversation with Ashler Miller on the exhibit:


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