Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.
Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.
However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible."
This bronze sculpture features a bust of Delacroix at its top. He is depicted as a young man with fairly long hair looking intently into the distance and wearing a heavy coat and a scarf. The artist is French sculptor Jules Dalou (1838-1902). Below the bust of Delacroix are three additional figures. One figure is of a man wearing a laurel..but little else..nearly sitting and reaching out with both hands towards his right. He almost appears as if he is applauding the other figures. The next figure is a muscular and elderly male angel lifting a barebreasted woman who is placing flowers at the base of Delacroix' bust. The pedestal's engraving reads:
" A Eugene Delacroix
which essentially indicates that the memorial was erected by his admirers.
The work was installed in 1890 and is also a fountain.
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