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Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in Paris and the Philadelphia Museum of Art have organized Delacroix: The Late Work, an exhibition of some seventy paintings and forty works of art on paper from public and private collections around the world. This will be the first exhibition in a decade to examine the great genius of Delacroix.
A pivotal figure in the history of nineteenth-century art, Delacroix stands both at the culmination of the great painterly tradition of Titian, Veronese, Rubens, and Rembrandt and at the beginning of something quite new, quite "modern." Evidence of Delacroix's modernity comes in the form of the reverence given to him by those artists of the following generations who were so profoundly influenced by his work—Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse. With subjects ranging from saints and warriors to mythical goddesses, from Arab hunting scenes and tigers to sumptuous bouquets of flowers, Delacroix's late work reveals a deepening spiritual intensity and has more to do with aesthetic reflection and personal recollection than with the expansive narrative that characterized his grand public commissions.