Delacroix : romantic Art's Master Vous êtes ici : Accueil > English > Dumas's life > His close relations
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Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863), Romantic art's key figure, saw Alexandre Dumas in the same way as the other great contemporary authors. Without being very close, their relationship shows the links that united the various elements of the Romantic Movement. With his painting La Mort de Sardanapale (The Death of Sardanapale), which scandalized people in 1827 by breaking with the classical tradition, Delacroix emerged as the leader of Romantic art school. At that time, in Charles Nodier's salon de l'Arsenal, he met writers such as Dumas, Hugo, Vigny, Stendhal, Gautier, Lamartine, as well as composers such as Berlioz, and painters. In 1831, at the Exhibition, Delacroix presented the painting that will become his most famous work : La Liberté guidant le peuple (Freedom guiding people). Two years later, the painter, having been invited by Dumas to his great fancy-dress ball, took part in the decoration of the rue Saint-Lazare appartment, and dazzled the artists who were present by improvising, in a few hours, a flaming Rodrigue après la bataille (Rodrigue after the battle). The same year, in 1833, Delacroix went to Marocco, in the context of a diplomatic mission led by the count of Mornay, ad brought hundreds of drawings back. In 1857, recognized at last, he enters the Institut after eight unsuccessful attempts. Later, the Impressionists, the Neo-Impressionists and the Fauvists, Maurice Denis, Matisse and Picasso, will claim Delacroix's influence. And yet, as Dumas deplored it in a talk he gave in 1864, December 10th, a year after Delacroix died, « this man, who should have had, at the supreme moment, his antechamber full of students, his lounge full of friends, his bedroom full of sighs and sobs, died alone, died forsaken, in his old manservant's arms, his hands in the hands of his old housekeeper ».
© Société des Amis d'Alexandre Dumas
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