Tiger and Serpent by Delacroix, Part 24 of the Introduction to Art and Artists of Our Time.
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Tiger and Serpent by Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix.

Tiger and Serpent
From the picture by Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix.


...introduction continued;

    ...the "Tiger and Serpent," would hardly have existed had it not been for Barye, and yet there is no real resemblance to Barye in them, nor was Barye's manner in painting in the least like that of Delacroix. The indebtedness of Delacroix to Constable has already been spoken of here, and an attempt made to put it in its right light. He himself visited England with Bonington and Isabey, and the visit was fruitful to him in many ways: it enlarged his experience and enriched his stock of ideas. In 1832 he went to Morocco and Algiers, and in 1838 he visited Belgium. He never went to Italy, and after his return from Belgium he did not again leave France. His industry was unceasing, and, like all great men, his productivity was enormous. Much of his work was of a decorative character; the painting of walls and ceilings in public buildings, and he had a splendid gift in that direction. Like Decamps, Delacroix was a painter; a painter first of all, but we are more concerned with the contents of his canvases than we are with those of Decamps; and this, not merely because he was a figure-painter exclusively, while Decamps was chiefly a painter of landscape, but because with Decamps the human figure is entirely a medium for the display of rich and effective color and light, as in Diaz, though with a more serious feeling, while Delacroix delights in action, and the putting forth of energy. His pictures are not soothing nor pleasing, they rather trouble the spirit, and excite it; not to thought, not to aspirations, but simply to activity, and often to repulsion; we feel in looking at his pictures that we are in the presence of a man of great strength, and of vast resources in his art, but his art is not a flowery bank to sleep upon and dream: it is rather a trumpet call to be up and astir.





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