It broke records in Paris. Now, it’s arrived in New York.
Perhaps Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “Apesh**t” video helped to get people to the Louvre; but, what caused them to stay was Delacroix.
The long-awaited Delacroix exhibition had nearly 540,000 visitors when it showed in Paris over the summer. This showing broke attendance records at the already-beloved Louvre. Now the work of renowned artist Eugène Delacroix has come to New York and is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is a collaboration between the two institutions.
Nineteenth-century Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix led an artistic charge with his animated brushstrokes and attention given to emotion in his paintings. Nearly 150 works – paintings, drawings, prints and manuscripts, many of which have never been shown in the U.S. – will be on view through January 6, 2019.
Delacroix attempts to clarify the work and life of the artist by organizing the exhibited pieces into three categories: the formative years of Delacroix’s career (1820s), his exploration of historical themes (1830s and on) and his growing interest in nature during his final years.
Recognized as he may be, this is the first major Delacroix retrospective ever in North America. A true “Romantic,” his works mostly revolved around nature, literature, history and religion. He was also greatly influenced by his trip to Morocco, which produced one of his most famous works, “Women of Algiers,” also on display.
His use of color, and his constant search for something new, inspired the likes of Baudelaire and Van Gogh. Delacroix’s still lifes were also influential, as they held emotion over most, and were in some ways a precursor of Impressionism. His “Basket of Flowers” still life was conserved for the exhibition by removing a layer of old varnish to reveal Delacroix’s original color composition. “Christ in the Garden of Olives” was also cleaned especially for the show.
Also on view at the Met is a related exhibition titled Devotion to Drawing: The Karen B. Cohen Collection of Eugène Delacroix, which remains on view at The Met through November 12. Devotion will take a closer look at Delacroix’s work as a draftsman with a display of about 130 drawings.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York.
Museum Hours: Sunday–Thursday: 10am–5:30pm, Friday and Saturday: 10am–9pm.