Filtering: Tagged with delacroix
We’ve been right in the midst of magic, for as Fromentin says so well, Rembrandt is above all a magician and Delacroix a man of God, of God’s thunder and bugger off in the name of God.
Well, I know that one shouldn’t be discouraged because utopia isn’t coming about. It’s just that I find that what I learned in Paris is fading, and that I’m returning to my ideas that came to me in the country before I knew the Impressionists. And I wouldn’t be very surprised if the Impressionists were soon to find fault with my way of doing things, which was fertilized more by the ideas of Delacroix than by theirs.
Last Sunday I met another doctor who, in theory at least, knows what Delacroix and Puvis de Chavannes are all about, and who’s very curious to know about Impressionism.
Gauguin and I talk a lot about DelacroixRembrandt &c. The discussion is excessively electric. We sometimes emerge from it with tired minds, like an electric battery after it’s run down.
Artist Eugène Delacroix
Year ca. 1853
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 50.8 cm × 61 cm (20 in × 21 in)
Location The MetNew York City
Yesterday and today I worked on the sower, which has been completely reworked. The sky is yellow and green, the earth purple and orange. There’s definitely a painting like that to be made of this splendid subject, and I hope it will be done one day, either by someone else or by me. The question remains this—Christ’s boat by Eugène Delacroix and Millet’s sower are of entirely different workmanship. Christ’s boat—I’m talking about the blue and green sketch with touches of purple and red and a little lemon yellow for the halo, the aureole—speaks a symbolic language through color itself. Millet’s sower is colorless grey—as are Israëls’s paintings too. Can we now paint the sower with color, with simultaneous contrast between yellow and purple for example (like Delacroix’s Apollo ceiling, which is precisely yellow and purple), yes or no? Yes—definitely. So do it then!
If you could see the olive trees at this time of year... The old-silver and silver foliage greening up against the blue. And the orangeish ploughed soil. It’s something very different from what one thinks of it in the north – it’s a thing of such delicacy – so refined. It’s like the lopped willows of our Dutch meadows or the oak bushes of our dunes, that’s to say the murmur of an olive grove has something very intimate, immensely old about it. It’s too beautiful for me to dare paint it or be able to form an idea of it. The oleander – ah – it speaks of love and it’s as beautiful as Puvis de Chavannes’ Lesbos, where there were women beside the sea. But the olive tree is something else, it is, if you want to compare it to something, like Delacroix.
Ah, how I wish that you’d seen the portrait of Bruyas by Delacroix and the whole museum at Montpellier where Gauguin took me. How people have already worked in the south before us! In truth, it’s quite difficult for me to believe that we’ve gone so far astray as that. As to it being a hot country — my word, I can’t help but think of a certain country Voltaire speaks of — and without even counting the simple castles in the air. Those are the thoughts that come to me as I return home.
Yesterday Gauguin and I went to Montpellier to see the museum there, and especially the Bruyas room—there are many portraits of Bruyas, by Delacroix, by Ricard, by Courbet, by Cabanel, by Couture, by Verdier, by Tassaert, by others too. After that there are paintings by Delacroix, Courbet, Giotto, Paul PotterBotticelliT. Rousseau, very fine.
Bruyas was a benefactor to artists, and this is all I’ll say to you: in the Delacroix portrait, he’s a gentleman with a beard, red hair, who looks damnably like you or me, and who made me think of that poem by Musset... everywhere I touched the earth, an unfortunate man dressed in black came to sit beside us, a man who looked at us like a brother. It would have the same effect on you, I’m sure.