Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Delacroix's Orientalism

Eugene Delacroix

Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement =
Algerian Women in their Apartment
Salon de 1834
oil on canvas
Musee du Louvre

I think is is pretty interesting that the Louvre chose to shoot its works in their frames, something I've never seen.

A classic work by a classic artist, Women of Algiers has its own Wikipedia page.
" 'The last of the great artists of the Renaissance and the first modern'; thus Baudelaire on Delacroix." (Gilles Neret) This work was striking in 19th century France with its sexual content, Orientalism, and use of light. The influence of the work continues to echo. Picasso was supremely influenced producing a number of works after The Women of Algiers, inspiring their own exhibition recently, Picasso-Delacroix, at the Louvre. The harem was one of the most popular subjects for painters of the 18th century interested in the Orient (present-day Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa). While many artists got their inspiration and information from travelogues and literature available in Europe, some, including Delacroix, got their subjects from direct experience on journeys to the region, though westerners may not have been allowed entrance, they culled their experience and fantasies for their paintings. "Beyond their implicit eroticism, harem scenes evoked a sense of cultivated beauty and pampered isolation to which many Westerners aspired." (Meagher, Orientalism in Nineteenth-Century Art)

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