The poussinites were defenders of academism who held

This preview shows page 23 - 24 out of 32 pages.

The Poussinites were defenders of academism who held drawing as superior to color, whereas Rubenites proclaimed the importance of color over line (line being more intellectual and thus more restrictive than color.) Although their differences are clear, in the end, Ingres and his great rival Delacroix complimented rather than contradicted each other. Delacroix believed that the artist’s power of imagination would in turn capture and inflame the viewer’s imagination. Literature was a useful source of subject matter. Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus is an example of grand pictorial drama. Delacroix was inspired by Lord Byron’s 1821 narrative Sardanapalus , but was not based on the text. Instead, Delacroix depicted the last hour of the Assyrian king (who received news of his armies defeat and the enemies’ entrance into his city) is a much more tempestuous and crowded setting than Byron described. Here orgiastic destruction replaces the sacrificial suicide found in the poem. In the painting, the king watches gloomily from his funeral pyre, soon to be set a fire, as his most precious possessions are destroyed in his sight. Sardanapalus’ favorite concubine throws herself on his bed determined to go up in flames with her master. Most conspicuous are the tortured dying bodies of harem women. The king presides like an evil genius over the destruction. This work taps into the fantasies of both the artist and some viewers. Delacroix also produced paintings of current events. He captured the passion and energy of the Revolution of 1830 in his painting Liberty Leading the People. Based upon the Parisian uprising against the rule of Charles X at the end of 1830, it depicts the allegorical personification of Liberty defiantly thrusting forth the Republics tri-lobed banner as she urges the masses to fight on. She wears the scarlet Phrygian cap, which was the symbol of a freed slave in antiquity. Around her a re bold Parisian types. Dead bodies are strewn about and the towers of Notre Dame rise through the smoke and haze in the background. This work reveals Delacroix’s attempt to balance contemporary historical fact with poetic allegory. Delacroix visited Morocco in North Africa in 1832. The trip affected him the rest of his life. He discovered the sun drenched landscape, colorful Moroccans dressed in Roman like togas, and new insights into a proud culture. He believed it was a culture more classical than anything Neoclassicism could conceive. In Delacroix’s eyes the Moroccan’s were “nature’s noblemen” - unspoiled heroes uninfected by European decadence. The journey renewed Delacroix’s conviction that beauty exists in the fierceness of nature, natural processes, and natural beings, especially animals. After Morocco, more and more of Delacroix’s subjects involved combats between beasts and beasts and men. His compositions were reminiscent of Rubens. Tiger Hunt clearly speaks to these interests.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture