Major Delacroix Retrospective Opens at the Met This Fall

A major retrospective exhibition devoted to French painter Eugène Delacroix is currently held in the Louvre, Paris. It opens until 23 July 2018. For those who can’t make it to Paris before the show ends, you have now got a second chance because the exhibition will come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York this fall.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York

The exhibition Delacroix is a joint project between the Met and the Musée du Louvre, showcasing approximately 145 paintings, drawings, and prints – many never before seen in the United States, though without many of the major, large-scale early works from the Louvre’s collection. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to this amazing artist ever held in North America.

Exhibition highlight: Self-Portrait with Green Vest, ca. 1837

Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) was one of the greatest creative figures of the 19th century. Through his choice of daring subjects and compositions, a vibrant palette, and bold brushwork, he set into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art.

Liberty Leading the People, 1830, is an iconic work by Delacroix

The sketch for Liberty Leading the People sold for £3.1m at Christie’s London last December

Delacroix was best known for his iconic work La Liberté guidant le peuple (Liberty Leading the People, 1830), now in the collection of the Louvre. The painting commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, when public protests led to the abdication of the deeply unpopular King Charles X and his replacement by King Louis Philippe. Last December, a sketch in oil outlining the final composition of this masterpiece sold for £3.1m at Christie’s London.

Exhibition highlight: Macbeth Consulting the Witches, 1825

The upcoming exhibition will feature the three main phases of Delacroix’s career, which spanned more than four decades. The first section will be devoted to his formative years during the 1820s, when his ambitious paintings exhibited at the annual Paris Salons won him public recognition. The second section will focus on his exploration of historical themes, often on a grand scale, informed by public commissions from the 1830s onward. The third section will present an overview of the artist’s final years, marked by his triumph at the Universal Exposition of 1855 and his growing interest in nature.

Exhibition highlight: Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1824–27

The presentation will enable visitors to explore the diversity of themes that preoccupied Delacroix throughout his life. For example, he engaged with the art of the past; had a lifelong fascination with literary, historical, and biblical themes; and made transformative contributions to printmaking and book illustration. The exhibition will spotlight Delacroix’s interest in the world beyond Europe, including his own epochal voyage to North Africa in 1832.

Exhibition highlight: Young Tiger Playing with Its Mother, 1830

The exhibition will open on September 17 this fall, free with museum admission. To plan your visit, please go to the Met website for more details.

Other higlights of the exhibition

Saada, the Wife of Abraham Ben Chimol, and Préciada, One of Their Daughters, 1832

Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, 1833–34

Medea About to Kill Her Children, 1838

Basket of Flowers, 1848–49

The Triumph of Genius over Envy, ca. 1849–51


Exhibition period: 2018/9/17 - 2019/1/6
Venue: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Tisch Galleries, Gallery 899, 2nd floor

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