A Vase of Flowers (Dated 1833)
About this artwork
The picture probably belonged to Delacroix’s close friend Frédéric Villot, a fellow artist and curator in the Louvre. According to Villot, the picture was painted at Champrosay, near Fontainebleau. It shows a crystal vase of flowers, which are mostly dahlias. It is Delacroix’s earliest surviving flower piece and is handled more freely than his other, more ambitious, works of this time. Delacroix was the leading artist of the Romantic School, championing colour over line, as opposed to the more classical works by Ingres.
Delacroix was the foremost French painter of his day, and regarded by many as one of the last great history painters. His work displayed his highly charged romantic spirit, which he often attempted to temper with his knowledge of classical art. He expressed admiration for the great colourist painters of the Venetian Renaissance, and also drew inspiration from the work of Rubens. Delacroix believed that an artist’s work should reflect their true emotions and beliefs. His Romantic, colourful paintings were not suited to the neoclassical tastes of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and he was barred from becoming a member until 1857. Delacroix depicted a number of historical and contemporary events, as well as literary and exotic subjects. His rebellious attitude was much admired by the Impressionists.