Delacroix, Eugène

Eugène Delacroix, French painter, 1798-1863

Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic.