New York Magazine

Delacroix Dropped a Bomb Into Art History

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




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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