Sunday, January 29, 2012

Delacroix, Eugene

The Women of Algiers (in Their Apartment)
Oil on canvas
180 x 229 cm (71 x 90 1/4")
Musee du Louvre, Paris

 "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible." (Baudelaire)

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) was the most important of the French Romantic painters. His use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of color profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement.
He was inspired by Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.

This painting depicts Algerian concubines of a harem with a hookah, used to smoke hashish or opium. In the 19th century, it was known for its sexual content and its orientalism. The painting served as a source of inspiration to the later impressionists.