The Birmingham Museum of Art will host the first Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) exhibition in the United States in more than a decade. Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, organized by Eik Kahng, assistant director and chief curator at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, opens February 22nd, and features the dramatic work of the leader of the French Romantic Movement, who is often heralded as the “father of impressionism.”
“The works of Eugène Delacroix are a truly dazzling feast for the eyes. His paintings are high drama – from the powerfully emotional subject matter to the fiery color palette and expressive brushstrokes. His style informed later artists like Renoir, Seurat, and Cézanne,” says Gail Andrews, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Comprised of 25 paintings and 20 works on paper, the exhibition will highlight Delacroix’s unparalleled coloristic surface effects, his famously vigorous brushwork, his troubled collaboration with his studio assistants, his journey to North Africa, and the brilliant palette of his late works. In addition, the exhibition presents a previously unknown painting by Delacroix, a later version of his monumental canvas The Last Words of Marcus Aurelius.
“We are thrilled to be one of only two venues for this show, which represents works of collections from around the world including Paris, Zurich, Madrid, and Toronto,” says Jeannine O’Grody, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art. “The exhibition will be accompanied by stunning catalogue, which details, among other things, Delacroix’s fascination with famous literary characters and subjects from ancient history.”
Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, presented by PNC, will be on display from February 22, 2014 through May 18, 2014. The Birmingham Museum of Art will be the second and final destination for the exhibition, which was organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.