Leader of the French Romantic school
Delacroix ’s desire for inspiration of dramatic and romantic content led him to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. He believed that the North Africans provided a visual equivalent to the people of Classical Rome and Greece.
An engaged artist
Eugène Delacroix was born on April 26, 1798 at Charenton-Saint-Maurice in Île-de-France, near Paris. Delacroix was inspired by contemporary events to invoke this romantic image of the spirit of liberty. The great station of his creative course is the work inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821. When in 1824 the English philhellene poet and leader of the struggling Romanticism, Byron, dies in Messolonghi, Delacroix, deeply moved by this event, exhibits in the Salon the “Slaughter of Chios”, a work in which the horror of the war, the passions of the enslaved people and the course of the dramatic developments in Greece, which was watched by the whole of progressive Europe, found expression. This monumental work, which is the beginning of a series of works inspired by the Greek Revolution, placed him first among the Romantic painters of his time and among the great philhellenes. Eugene Delacroix died on August 13, 1863 in Paris, at the age of 65.
The second painting he created about the Greek Revolution was about the siege of Messolonghi in 1825. It was completed a year later, capturing history much faster than humanity had become accustomed to. This painting also pays tribute to Lord Byron, who died on the side of the Greek front in the same city.