New York Magazine

Delacroix Dropped a Bomb Into Art History

The 19th-century painter pushed Romanticism into pure wildness.
The Lion Hunt

DELACROIX

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.

THROUGH JANUARY 6.

PREPARE TO GRAPPLE WITH the cosmic grandiosity and optical hot messes of that 19th-century French freak of painterly nature Eugène Delacroix, whose churning, turgid, crimson-tinged floridity has enkindled the respiratory systems of artists since he debuted at the Paris Salon of 1822—and given many others agita.

Now, at the Met, comes the first large-scale North American retrospective of his epoch-altering work. How did it alter his epoch? Delacroix’s style is so uncontained, convulsive, and atmospheric it’s hard to pigeonhole as simply Romanticism.

Fuzziness, smears, fibrillating

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