Thursday, October 28

In the Vanguard of Painting


Back in June of this year I wrote a blog on The “Voice” of Eugene Delacroix. I had just finished a book that was a compendium of his correspondence with family, friends, and business associates. It included letters from early adulthood, all throughout his career, and nearly up until his death in 1863.

I found his letters very interesting, but it wasn’t until I watched a show about Delacroix recently on television that I understood his significance in the history of art, particularly the history of painting.

The show is Artistic Genius, an educational and entertaining series that spotlights great artists. I have also seen the ones on Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

Succinctly, the directors of the show highlighted three things that Delacroix did to change the course of painting. I hope you are able to catch the show in your area.

First, he painted using an open style to build up form and color with paint rather than drawing a precise line and/or outline of an object and then “fill in” with paint.

Second, he was one of the first well-known artists to paint common people as the subjects of his paintings rather than the historic, biblical, or mythological figures and subjects, which were the accepted norm.

Thirdly, he was one of the first artists to quit using black in his paintings. He did this after studying color and shadows for years and understanding the colors than emanate from an object. In this he was a precursor to the Impressionist painters.

So Delacroix was in the vanguard of painting. Don’t you wish your methods and paintings could have such an impact on the world of art? I certainly do.

Until next blog…

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