Arabe sellant son cheval (1855)

Delacroix, Eugène (1798-1863)

Arabe sellant son cheval (Arab Saddling his Horse)
Oil on canvas, 56 x 47 cm
Hermitage MuseumSaint Petersburg

Delacroix was a founder of the Romantic trend in 19th-century painting. He took this subject from his recollections of a journey he made through North Africa in 1832. The artist’s works on Oriental themes are marked by a synthesis of realistic details rendered with ethnographical precision and the Romantic mood. This work is a good example of such an approach, in which an ordinary scene is treated as something unusual: the wild, deserted landscape, the dark sky with thunder-clouds, the sword in the foreground and the anxiety of the horse all endow the scene with a troublous mood. (SHM)