Algerian women

Eugene Delacroix • Painting, 1834, 180×229 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Romanticism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1834
Size: 180×229 cm
Artwork in selections: 59 selections
Exhibitions history
March 29 − July 23, 2018
Louvre Museum, building Rivoli, 99

Description of the artwork «Algerian women»

In 2008 in the Louvre in one room gathered all famous "Algerian women" in the visual arts. Only one painting in this exhibition belonged to Delacroix, and the whole the rest of the harem belonged to Pablo Picasso. Within two years, Picasso created 15 variations of this motif and dozens of sketches. In one interview he said: "If Delacroix saw my work, I would have told him this, that you wrote, referring to Rubens but how did Delacroix. And I wrote, referring to you, but also did something his".

When the ship of the French mission, which was Delacroix went to Morocco, the artist has certainly formed my view of art. But still part of the color and contrast combinations better than Rubens he never met and did not recognize. And in Morocco and Algeria he saw all these colors and reflexes live, saw a strong light and transparent shadows, they saw a dazzling, splendid, magnificent the East, which is fantasized in "Death Of Sardanapalus". In the life of Delacroix, is not particularly rich in crucial events, a trip to the East was not only picturesque, but of philosophical insight.

Compared to dynamic and even hysterical songs previous paintings by Delacroix, "the women of Algiers" - a very calm and bliss. It's like time in that dimension moves slowly or account him one just does not. There's no plot, no action, no story, no character. Pure painting.

Leaving Morocco and arriving to Algeria, Delacroix yearned for only one thing: that I didn't get to see the local women. It turned out that in Algeria a little bit easier. The former captain of the Algerian fleet conducted by Eugene right in his harem – admire.

In the low, stuffy, smelling of sweet hookah smoke and tea room reclining three women. They've been here the whole day, they were part of this room. Time – sketched in watercolor, sometimes watercolor lacked and he made notes in Notepad: "pale blue, green, Golden yellow" - it's about the scarf, "purplish purple sleeves, purple-purple on the shoulders, chest stripes of purple, soft" - it's about the shirt.

"The women of Algiers" - illogical, inexplicable, magical magnet. A free copy of it did Auguste Renoir (only this copy and contemporaries can judge now about the true brightness of colors, from Delacroix because his picture has been preserved badly and darkened), and then wrote in its explanation of its "Odalisque". For Signac this painting was a revelation "optical mixing the most remote components". About Picasso all so clear – 15 paintings, erotic and straightforward, repeating the main lines of the composition of the source, one of which became the most expensive painting in the world and was sold for 180 million dollars.

Many years later, Delacroix writes about his Eastern vacation: "I lived there twenty times more intense than in Paris".

Author: Anna Sidelnikova