Once-in-a-Generation Exhibition of Delacroix Conquers Paris and NYC


New Yorkers need to brace themselves: the exhibition that has baffled art amateurs at the Louvre will move to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 17. The paintings of Eugène Delacroix are being shown in the largest exhibition since the centenary of his death in 1963.

The French artist has been characterized as a misunderstood genius, the most contradicting and provocative artist of the 19th century. More than 180 of his works are finally reunited under one collection, with loans from museums in France, the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., Belgium, and Hungary.

The exhibition, a joint project between the Louvre and the Met, examines Delacroix’s 40-year career, encompassing the themes of literature, nature, politics, and religion. There are paintings ranging from still lives and flower baskets to historical subjects, drawings showing his interest in nature and animals, and translations he wrote for Dante and Shakespeare. He also pioneered painting techniques used by Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, and many more.

Though the exhibition includes classics like Liberty Leading the People (1830) and The Death of Sardanapalus (1827), it also includes intimate journals and lithographs showing the influences that pushed Delacroix to become one of the greatest Romantic painters in history. Some diaries even detail his attraction to writer Georges Sand and his fear of tuberculosis. They all shape the ways he reached international fame.

The exhibition is shown at the Louvre through July 23, and opens in New York on September 17 through January 6, 2019.