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A Mandarin Drake, by Eugene Delacroix

A Mandarin Drake, by Eugène Delacroix (Photo credit: WikiArt.org)

Eugène Delacroix (13 August 1863) is one of the most accomplished artists associated with Romanticism. He was also one of the most prolific and versatile artists of the early nineteenth-century. Hence the breadth of his influence.

His “Mandarin Drake” is a watercolour. But as an artist, Delacroix also used pen, chalk, graphite, pastels, and oil. In fact, he was a fine lithographer who illustrated various literary works by William Shakespeare, Walter Scott and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The paintings of Rubens were a source of inspiration to Delacroix. Moreover, he was a friend of Théodore Géricault (1791 -1824), and Géricault’s “spiritual heir.” (See Eugène Delacroix, Wikipedia.) Géricault completed his Raft of the Medusa, Le Radeau de la Méduse, at the age of 27, and his horses are magnificent.

Delacroix is known mainly for his “Liberty Guiding the People” (1830), a painting that captures the “genius,” or essence, of Revolutions. However, although the video at the foot of this post presents “Liberty Guiding the People” and reveals a more intense Delacroix, I have assembled works that show other and, at times, seemingly simpler facets of Delacroix’s art.

The work featured at the top of this post is one of my favourites. It shows a drake, a Mandarin drake or mallard (canard mallard, canard colvert [green neck]).

Delacroix’s subject matter also consisted of flowers and studies of flowers, simple branches. Moreover, he travelled abroad seizing a less familiar beauty. The Romantics loved the exotic.

However, the art of this “Romantic” tends to override the notion of movements, which may of course be true of most great artists.

Photo credit: WikiArt.org (all images)

Please click on the lower part of each image to see its title. The pictures may be enlarged and viewed as a video (press escape to exit). I just discovered this WordPress feature.


For “The Cottage in a Grove,” 1838, Delacroix used a pen, chalk, and ink. “The Coast of Spain at Salabrena” is a watercolour, dated 1832. Delacroix’s  “Study of Flowers” is a later work, executed between 1845 and 1850. “The Portrait of Turk in a Turban” (1826) was produced with pastels. For his magnificent tiger (below, 1830), Delacroix used a pencil and watercolours.



Yet, we have Willibald von Gluck at the “clavecin” composing the score of his Armide (1831). This painting is a watercolour and “European.” A clavecin is a harpsichord. However, the instrument Gluck is using resembles my grandfather’s humble spinet, a type of harpsichord.


Today is not a blogging day. But pictures are worth a thousand words, so I have used pictures to let you know that I am still blogging, but at a slower pace.

However, I should let you know that Eugène Delacroix is rumoured to be an illegitimate son of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Talleyrand looked after the children he fathered. One was born to Madame de Flahaut and was named Charles-Joseph, comte de Flahaut. Everyone knew Charles-Joseph was Talleyrand’s son. In turn, Charles-Joseph, comte de Flahaut, became the lover of Hortense de Beauharnais (Napoleon’s stepdaughter and sister-in-law) and fathered the duc de Morny, a half-brother to Napoleon III.

Consequently, Delacroix was a protégé of the enigmatic Talleyrand (his father) and, later, a protégé of the Duc de Morny (Talleyrand’s grandson), whose brother ruled France.

My best regards to all of you.

Bouquet of Flowers, by Eugène Delacroix

Bouquet of Flowers, by Eugène Delacroix (Photo credit: WikiArts.org)


Frédéric Chopin
Nocturne, Opus 9 N° 2
Video by Philip Scott Johnson 
Chopin, by Delacroix
© Micheline Walker
5 June 2014