Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Romantic Era (pt. 9)

After travelling through Morocco, Tangier, and Algiers in 1832, Delacroix became newly inspired.  His later works invoked these new, exotic settings which Delacroix loved to paint so much, and combined them with another of the artist's favorite motifs: dramatic action.  He completed The Lion Hunt toward the end of his life, and it marked one of the most artistically important accomplishments of his life.  In it we see the dominant theme of action and the exotic setting and subject matter no doubt inspired by the artist's own travels.  Color was the most important element in the painting for Delacroix.  Emotion, instantly evident, bursts from the chaotic scene, and our eye darts across the canvas, this way and that, as swiftly as we can imagine the figures in the scene must have been moving.  The fierce moment of conflict—the thick of the battle—is marvelously captured on the men's faces, but notice how the painting's wavy lines and incoherent geometrical construction lends to its sense of motion and kinetic action.  We almost can't see the faces of the men and can't judge some of their expressions because things are moving too fast.  This technical concept will be adopted more thoroughly in the years to come.

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