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In this free course, Delacroix, you will be introduced to a variety of Delacroix's work and will see how his paintings relate to the cultural transition from Enlightenment to Romanticism. You will study Delacroix's early career, his classical background, the development of Romantic ideas and their incorporation into his work. You will have the opportunity to study some of his most important paintings and compare them to works favouring a Neoclassical approach. You will also be able to see how his themes, subjects and style were influenced by Romantic ideas, the exotic and the Oriental. Through this you will develop an understanding of the classicRomantic balance that shows how his work was influenced by cultural change of that period and to some extent contributed to the progression from Enlightenment to Romanticism.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- identify those aspects of Delacroix’s art that qualify it as ‘Romantic’
- understand the interplay between classicism and Romanticism in Delacroix’s art
- appreciate the nature of Delacroix’s fascination with the Oriental and the exotic even before he visited Morocco.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Overview
- 2 The Death of Sardanapalus
- 2.1 Inspiration for the Death of Sardanapalus
- 2.2 Sardanapalus – subject and composition
- 2.3 A passionate reaction
- 2.4 Controversial colour and composition – exercise
- 2.5 Neoclassical – the established style
- 2.6 An alternative deathbed tradition
- 2.7 Interpreting the classical form
- 2.8 Colour and light – exercise
- 2.9 Painterly techniques
- 2.10 Colour versus line
- 2.11 Birth of the ‘Romantic’
- 3 Delacroix – classic or Romantic?
- 3.1 A classical education
- 3.2 The influence of Géricault and Gros
- 3.3 A Baroque influence
- 3.4 Neoclassical and the Baroque – a delicate balance
- 3.5 The Barque of Dante – innovation within tradition
- 3.6 Massacres of Chios – challenging the establishment
- 3.7 Massacres of Chios – a critical stir
- 3.8 Transcending the Romantic-classic divide
- 3.9 Delacroix’s early career – exercise
- 4 The Romantic artist and the creative process
- 5 Romantic themes and subjects in Delacroix’s art
- 5.1 Sardanapalus – a disconcerting subject
- 5.2 Sardanapalus – passion and futility
- 5.3 The popular Gothic
- 5.4 A taste for the grotesque
- 5.5 The Gothic, the grotesque and artistic expression
- 5.6 Modernity – challenging tradition
- 5.7 Extremes of modernity
- 5.8 Delacroix’s modernity – the historical context
- 5.9 A reaction to the bourgeois establishment
- 5.10 Features of French Romantic art and artists – exercise
- 6 The Oriental and the exotic
- 7 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
In this course you will be introduced to a variety of Delacroix’s work and see how his paintings relate to the cultural transition from Enlightenment to Romanticism.
You will study Delacroix’s early career, his classical background, the development of Romantic ideas and their incorporation into his work. You will have the opportunity to study some of his most important paintings and compare them to works favouring a Neoclassical approach. You will also be able to see how his themes, subjects and style were influenced by Romantic ideas, the exotic and the Oriental. Through this you will develop an understanding of the classic-Romantic balance that how his work was influenced by cultural change of that period and to some extent contributed to the progression from Enlightenment to Romanticism.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Art courses or view the range of currently available OU History of Art courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 14th April 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 14th April 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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