A Romantic Artist Interprets Shakespeare's Masterpieces

A Romantic Artist Interprets Shakespeare's Masterpieces
Eugène Delacroix is one of the most well-known French artists from the 19th century. His patriotic works are highly celebrated in France and abroad, but his works revolving around theater are less well known. The world-renowned Louvre Museum is attempting to change that with an exhibition entitled, 'Eugène Delacroix, the Most Legitimate of Shakespeare's Sons.'

Delacroix is a Romantic artist whose rich use of color and expressive brushstrokes made him admired even in his own time. Delacroix offered a unique perspective as a fine artist who also loved the theater. He was especially curious about the French theater revival that took place throughout the 1820s and 1830s. The French theater scene of the early 19th century espoused new theories about the art of acting, which had an expressiveness that Delacroix compared to painting. Delacroix, himself being only in his 20s and 30s at the time, dedicated a considerable amount of his youthful enthusiasm to depicting the spirit of this revival.

As a result, the works of Shakespeare were of particular interest to the young Delacroix. In 1825, the 27-year-old artist painted 'Hamlet and his father’s ghost.' In 1827, Delacroix attended a performance of Hamlet, whose sensitive and tormented protagonist he had drawn inspiration from two years earlier. His love of Shakespeare lasted throughout his career, and he even illustrated many of the Bard's published works.

Guests staying at one of the Grands Hôtels Parisiens can discover this facet of Eugène Delacroix's cultured life at the Louvre Museum in the 1st arrondissement. That means it is just a short distance away from hotel guests.