Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Passion of Delacroix

Ever wondered who inspired the masters? Birmingham Museum of Art sheds a little light by welcoming Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, 25 paintings and 18 works on paper by French painter Eugene Delacroix, considered by many “the Father of Impressionism.”

Perhaps not a household name today, Eugene Delacroix was a major figure to the likes of van Gogh, Monet, and Degas. He is weighed as one of the most influential of the French Romantics and called the “Master Colorist,” due to his use of color and broad, expressive brush strokes.

Delacroix’s passionate nature is evident in his work; he chose heavy, politically-charged topics or emotional moments in other mediums of art to express the plight of the individual and was entranced with the fate of civilizations as a whole. He was a well-traveled man who took inspiration from the cultures he encountered, and relied heavily on literary, philosophical, and aural arts to inspire his works.

On the cusp of the old world of classical painting and the new, revolutionary world of impressionism, he held allure for many of the artists to follow, and they spoke of his personality and work as a mystery. Delacroix was a bridge between the strict rules and themes of classical painting and the ephemeral nature of the impressionists. He displayed suffering and violence delicately, never truly giving his stance on the situation itself but leaving the grim showing for the audience to decide.

To see this influential master, check out the Birmingham Museum of Art exhibit, Delacroix and the Matter of Finish which runs from February 22-May 18, 2014 and costs $15 a person. If you want to read more about Eugene Delacroix, feel free to peruse the following titles, available from the Birmingham Public Library:

Rachel Joiner
Arts, Literature, Sports Central Library

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