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Eugène Delacroix
(1799 - 1863) France

Eugène Delacroix

Painter -
Self-portrait

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One of the best known Romantic painters. Possibly the son of Taillerand, whom he resembled, he was born atCharenton-Saint Maurice, near Paris. He shocked his contemporaries by departing from classical tradition, exhibiting vivid paintings of scenes which were often violent or macabre. His Massacre à Chios (1824) shwows Greeks enslaved by wild Turkish horsemen, a contemporary atrocity.

Admired as a colourist, he used a technique of divided brushwork, adjacent brush marks of contrasting colour which the eye mixes as it scans - which anticipated the Impressionists. He learned this from seeing Contable's Hay Wain when it was exhibited in Paris in 1824.

His prolific output includes religious and historical subjects, animal studies, illustrations from Dante, Shakespeare, and Byron, and portraits of friends such as Paganini and Chopin. His Journal is interesting as much for the insight it gives on the social and artistic world of Paris as on his own life and works.

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