Born on April 26, 1798 Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix's claim is as Romantic artist known as the spearhead of the French Romantic School of art. His use of brushstrokes to express his subjects plus his use of color molded the work of the Impressionists. His passion for the mysterious stirred the artists concerned with the Symbolist movement. He illustrated works of William Shakespeare and Walter Scott plus Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Delacroix used the exotic themes of North Africa and he was inspired by Lord Byron's idea that the forces of nature are in violent action. Delacroix was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Harvest in 1819. He used a Raphael influence for his other commission The Virgin of the Sacred Heart in 1821. He painted the Barque of Dante which was highly sensational. During his life Delacroix often suffered from widespread opposition. However there was also an enlightened support for his works. He achieved success for his The Massacre at Chios.
Delacroix painted in support of the Greeks in their wars for independence and Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi was the result. In 1825 Delacroix traveled to England to visit Thomas Lawrence and learn about the handling of English painting and color. He painted Portrait of Louis-Auguste Schwiter in 1926-30 which is his only full length portrait. He produced lithographs illustrating Shakespeare's works and lithographs from Goethe's Faust. He introduced violence and sensuality in his paintings His last paintings in 1861 and 1862 are Lion Hunt and Ovid among the Scythians. His greatest works are on display at the Louvre in Paris. Delacroix died on August 13, 1863 at the age of 65.
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