D is for Delacroix

It’s surely no secret or surprise that I love Romantic artists, right? Well, meet Eugène Delacroix, a French-born and -educated artist. Most people know Delacroix from Liberty Leading the People. It is, of course, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, but I thought I’d go with a lesser known one. Orphan Girl at the Cemetery came about 7 years before Liberty and the crazy thing is that it may have just been a practice piece leading up to his 1824 Massacre at Chios. Look at this, though: the loss and fear and resignation but maybe even a little hopefulness or defiance as she still looks up and beyond. How this was just a preparation is just beyond me, but whatever it is is beautiful. It also fits interestingly into a criticism Delacroix encountered through his entire professional life: while he often portrayed scenes of war, they were frequently not as glorified as the critics of the time would have wanted. Instead, he tended to show the real toll of war, the pain and hardship and loss on all sides.

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