Eugène Delacroix Picture Study Aid and Art Prints

To read more about Charlotte Mason picture study and to see the other Picture Study Aids I offer, click here.

A picture is nothing but a bridge between the soul of the artist and that of the spectator.

Eugène Delacroix

As I wrote in my Artists from the 1800s list, Eugène Delacroix is credited with bringing the Romantic movement to France. He was a giant in the art world of the 19th century, even during his lifetime, and many contemporary artists, as well as artists since, have highly respected and emulated his work.

His oeuvre includes a wide range of subjects. However, his most well-known piece, Liberty Leading the People, is a record of one of the many tumultuous political events that characterized the late part of the 18th century and early part of the 19th century in France. Ironically, the painting that has become a symbol of France and one of the most recognized pieces in the world was hidden from public view for a large part of the 19th century. After it was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1831, politicians were afraid it might inspire another insurrection.

Delacroix had an intense personality, which is evident in many of his paintings, especially those inspired by his time in North Africa. These include scenes of historical battles and violent encounters between wild animals and humans. Art critic Charles Baudelaire left us with this description of him:

“He was compact of energy, but of an energy which sprang from the power of the nerves and the will, for physically he was frail and delicate. The eyes of the tiger watchful of its prey have less fiery a gleam, its muscles are less tense with quivering impatience than those of the great painter, as with his whole soul he flung himself on an idea or endeavoured to grasp a dream. The very character of his physiognomy, his features…, his eyes which were large and black, but which had become narrowed by the perpetual efforts of a concentrated gaze, and seemed to drink in and absorb and savour the light, his glossy and abundant hair, his determined forehead, his tight-drawn lips which had acquired an expression of cruelty from the constant straining of the will — in a word, his whole person seemed to suggest an exotic origin.”

Eugène Delacroix Picture Study Aid and Art Prints

I’m excited to announce that I have a new Picture Study Aid covering the art of Eugène Delacroix, along with the accompanying fine art prints, now available! Included in this 27-page Picture Study Aid is a summary of the life and artistic inspirations of French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), key topics for seven of his works (see below), printable versions of the pieces covered in the PDF version, and a brief discussion about Charlotte Mason’s ideas and methods for implementing picture study at different ages.

The pieces discussed are:

  • Rebecca and the Wounded Ivanhoe (1823 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
  • Young Orphan Girl in the Cemetery (1824 – Musée du Louvre, Paris)
  • Liberty Leading the People (1830 – Musée du Louvre, Paris)
  • Madame Henri François Riesener (1835 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
  • Moulay Abd-er-Rahman, Sultan of Morocco, leaving his palace in Meknes, surrounded by his guard and his main officers (1845 – Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, Toulouse, France)
  • Christ on the Sea of Galilee (1854 – The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland)
  • The Lion Hunt (1855 – Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden)

You can also find books for further reading about Delacroix in the Living Art Book Archive. (For now, it is limited, but I hope to add to the list as I explore more books covering his work.)

I include a brief overview of Charlotte Mason picture study at the beginning of the file; however, I have also written posts here on the blog about why it is important and how we do it in our home and homeschool co-op.

You can get your copy at the link at the end of the post!

Caveats

This guide is by no means an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece, which is intentional. I tried to keep it all very simple in the spirit of there being:

…no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman.

CHARLOTTE MASON (VOL 6 PG 216)

Instead, this Picture Study Aid is meant to offer basic information about the artists as well as ready answers should your student ask about a particular aspect of a piece and the explanation isn’t readily evident. Ms. Mason emphasized not focusing on strict academic discourse when doing picture study but rather simply exposing students to the art itself:

His education should furnish him with whole galleries of mental pictures, pictures by great artists old and new;––…––in fact, every child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination, to say nothing of great buildings, sculpture, beauty of form and colour in things he sees. Perhaps we might secure at least a hundred lovely landscapes too,––sunsets, cloudscapes, starlight nights. At any rate he should go forth well furnished because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold.

CHARLOTTE MASON (VOL 6 PG 43)

AmblesideOnline friends, I also have a free Eugène Delacroix Picture Study Aid that follows the AO Artist Study rotation here!

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