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Delacroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugènelocked

Extract

French, 18 – 19th century, male.

Born 26 April 1798, in Charenton-St-Maurice, France; died 13 August 1863, in Paris, France.

Painter, watercolourist, engraver, lithographer. Historical and religious subjects, figure compositions, battles, hunting scenes, local scenes, figures, costume studies, landscapes, animals, horses, flowers. Murals.

Orientalism, Romanticism.

Eugène Delacroix’s father, Charles Delacroix, was successively deputy minister of foreign affairs in The Hague and prefect of Marseilles and Bordeaux under the Directory, the First Republic, and the First Empire under the Republic. He died when Delacroix was only seven years old, leaving his family with next to no financial support. Delacroix then lost his mother when he was age 16. In 1814, he attempted an etching, of which only a single impression remains, on the bottom of a saucepan depicting a hunchback, a profile of Napoléon Bonaparte, and an officer on horseback. That year he also made an engraving on the copper plate formerly used to print the letterhead of his father when he was prefect of Marseilles. By 1815 Delacroix had already begun to copy engravings, a habit that would continue for many years. He studied in Paris at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand school but wrote to a friend in 1815 that he wished to leave school and develop his talent as an amateur painter. His initial inclination had been to study music, but by 1816, he had made his choice, partly motivated by admiration for Goya’s painting, ...

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