Study of Babouches (detail). Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863). Oil on cardboard, 6 1/2 × 8 1/16 in., ca. 1823–24. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Peintures, Bequest of Carle Dreyfus, 1953
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Moroccan Inspiration: Our “Delacroix” Exhibition Store

Motifs and memories from North Africa figure prominently in the oeuvre of Eugène Delacroix—and inform The Met Store’s “Delacroix” exhibition store

In 1838, a prominent critic wrote that Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863) “has a certain restlessness, a certain feverish genius, that impels him to experiment in all sorts of ways…” Indeed, over a 40-year career, this prominent artistic innovator channeled his creativity into works inspired by literature, religion, history, nature, and other themes.

Self-Portrait with Green Vest (detail). Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863). Oil on canvas, 25 9/16 x 21 7/16 in., ca. 1837. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Peintures, Gift of Madame Zélie Duriez de Verninac through Pierre Andrieu, 1872

 

A visit to North Africa in 1832 made an indelible impression on the mid-career artist. Delacroix took in the cities, monuments, and people of Morocco and Algeria through the lens of the Western classical tradition. His paintings inspired by this trip evoke his notion of “living antiquity”—and how he aspired to elevate what he painted beyond the merely descriptive or picturesque, situating his works on the continuum of Western civilization.

Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863). Oil on canvas, 70 7/8 x 90 3/16 in., 1833–34. Musée du Louvre, Paris

 

Such serious aspirations on the part of the artist aside, Delacroix’s Maghreb-themed paintings contain colorful details that richly evoke the thrill of the unfamiliar and an encounter with “the Other.” His curiosity about all he saw is evident in the many drawings he made during his trip, from doors to trees to men and women spotted in the street.

Left: Seated Turk (possibly Paul Barroilhet, 1805–1871). Eugène Delacroix, (French, 1798–1863). Oil on canvas, 18 5/16 × 14 15/16 in., ca. 1827–1830. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Peintures, on deposit at the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix. Right: Saada, the Wife of Abraham Ben Chimol, and Préciada, One of Their Daughters. Eugène Delacroix, (French, 1798–1863). Watercolor over graphite on wove paper, 8 3/4 x 6 3/8 in., 1832. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.210)

 

For the major retrospective Delacroix, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue through January 6, The Met Store team salutes the French master’s visions of North Africa in an exhibition store filled with more than the usual books, postcards, jewelry, and other gifts.

 

In addition to textiles and jewelry developed exclusively for this exhibition, we have partnered with Imports from Marrakesh, a Moroccan decor company with a showroom in Chelsea Market, to present a range of Morocco-made weavings, slippers, decorative lamps, and other accents for the home. 

 

An evocative finale to a beautiful retrospective, our store provides many ways to remember a major exhibition—and a major artist’s way of seeing the world.

 

Visit the Delacroix exhibition store in Gallery 899 at The Met Fifth Avenue through January 6, 2019. And shop the online exhibition store at store.metmuseum.org.

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