The Birmingham Museum of Art is proud to host the first Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) exhibition in the United States in more than a decade. Delacroix and the Matter of Finish arrives in February and features the dramatic work of the leader of the French Romantic Movement, who was often heralded as “the father of impressionism.” Comprised of 25 paintings and 18 works on paper, the exhibition will highlight Delacroix’s unparalleled coloristic surface effects, his famously troubled collaboration with his studio assistants, and his preoccupation with the fate of civilizations. Filled with high drama, a fiery color palette, and expressive brushstrokes, Delacroix’s style set the precedent for later artists like Renoir, Seurat, and Cézanne. The BMA is one of only two venues to host Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, which represents works of collections from around the world, including Paris, Switzerland, Madrid, and New York.

Who is Delacroix?

Perhaps you’ve heard his name (even if you are unsure how to pronounce it). Now, let us properly introduce you to one of the most important and influential artists of the 19th century.

Eugène Delacroix

Eugène Delacroix

Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863)

uu-ZHEHN deh-lah-krwah
A French painter and lithographer who shifted the course of art away from the restrained classicism of the 18th century, towards a new kind of painting known as Romanticism.
“Leader of Romanticism”
“Father of Impressionism”
“Master Colorist”
“Tireless Draftsman”

Romanticism

A 19th-century movement in the arts that prized human feelings, imagination, and expression.

Style

What makes a Delacroix painting?
· Rich and expressive use of fiery colors to achieve energy and freshness
· Fluid, sweeping brushstrokes to convey movement and sensation
· Focus on intense emotion rather than accuracy and details
· Subject matter depicts dramatic scenes from literature, ancient history, and contemporary events
…and the Matter of Finish?
It was in fact the lack of finish that became the hallmark of Delacroix’s work—a technique intended to appeal to the viewer’s imagination.
Mark your calendar now,  and check back soon for more information, related programming, and special member perks!

Delacroix Infographics Timeline

Delacroix Infographics World

Interact

The Delacroix feature in the ArtsBMA highlights app complements any visit to the exhibition. Click here for more information.

Book a tour

Docent-led tours are available now through Friday, May 9 for groups of 10 or more adults or students (middle-school age and older). For more information or to book a tour, please call 205.328.7628.

Tickets

Online tickets are $15.
Please note that ticket sales for the exhibition close at 4PM each day.

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