Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863)
|Self-Portrait (fragment), 1837 |
Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm
you is a self-portrait by the French artist Eugene Delacroix. A strong
and independent person is looking at us. Tousled hair hints at his
turbulent character. A friendly but insightful look brings a sense of
live communication with the artist. Bright colors, the play of light
and shadow make the portrait emotional.
Delacroix was born into
a diplomat’s family. He developed a passion for drawing during trips to
Normandy with his uncle, who dabbled in painting.
17-year-old Eugene entered the class of a famous Parisian artist, and a
year later was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts.
neoclassical style reigned at the Academy at that time. Professors
demanded that young artists follow strict rules, according to which
images should be naturalistically perfect, and be characterized by
softened tones and accurate proportions. Subject matters were supposed
to be respectable, emotionally restrained, and sublime. Ordinary
objects were rejected as unworthy, coarse, and vulgar.
However, Delacroix strove for a different painting style, more colorful and emotional and free of any restrictions.