Today, Eugène Delacroix is often discussed as a painter of North African or Middle Eastern scenes, and of events drawn from the Bible or from ancient Greek and Roman history and mythology. Yet accounts from Delacroix’s lifetime confirm the artist’s lifelong preoccupation with flowers and gardens. His floral still-life paintings, though few in number, were some of his most influential works. They were seen as being focused on what Delacroix and his modern admirers considered the “abstract” side of painting — color, composition, and dazzling execution. This still life has little to do with botanical illustration. Rather, it is about pure painting, and as such is one of the earliest exercises by Delacroix on his course to transform the art of painting in France.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (CC BY 3.0).