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Delacoix at The Met

The poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire once described Eugène Delacroix as “a volcanic crater artistically hidden by bouquets of flowers.” This tension is evident in the Romantic artist’s oeuvre, brimming with emotional intensity yet informed by a deep knowledge of the Old Masters. His vibrant palette and expressive brushwork rattled the establishment and inspired the Impressionists and other innovative artists.

Organized in collaboration with the Louvre, Delacroix is the first comprehensive retrospective of the Romantic painter’s work to be held in North America. Through some 150 paintings, drawings, prints, and manuscripts—many never before seen in this country — it follows the trajectory of his prolific 40-plus-year career and surveys the wide range of themes that he explored, from literary, historical, and biblical subjects to animals and nature. Among the many highlights is Christ in the Garden of Olives (1824–27), which was brought down from high upon a wall in a Paris church and cleaned especially for the exhibition.