Friday, August 27, 2010

My Essay on Genet and Delacroix

Ingres' Paganini
Delacroix' Paganini

"There is something priggish about these young men of the school of Ingres. They seem to think it highly meritorious to have joined the ranks of 'serious painting'...a great number of talented artists have never done anything worthwhile because they surrounded themselves with a mass of prejudices, or had them thrust upon them by the fashion of the moment. It is the same with their famous word beauty which, everyone says, is the chief aim of the arts. But if beauty were the only aim, what would become of men like Rubens and Rembrandt and all the northern temperaments, generally speaking, who prefer other qualities? Demand purity, in other words, beauty, from an artist like Puget and farewell to his verve!" Journal entry by Eugene Delacroix February 9th, 1847

I just had a brief essay published over at Escape Into Life. The essay, entitled "On the Disciples of Ugliness", discusses Jean Genet and Eugene Delacroix and the relation between beauty and ugliness which can be found in their work. In the essay I discuss a contrast between Romantic and Neo-classicist visual art, of perhaps Romanticism and a type of formalism, that is fairly nicely captured in the contrast between Delacroix and Ingres' Paganini's.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. I happen to like very much the Delaroche painting, so it was a pleasure to read here and look the YT vid embedded.

    Maybe, if Delaroche really had any monarchist leanings, he chose to display the execution in a remote corner of the Tower rather than in the green lane in because of, say, respect for the royal blood. Maybe he thought that a monarch, even a usurper, should never be executed publicly (as Louis XVI was). But that’s just a speculation, of course.

    Thanks again. I enjoyed the article.

    Eugene Delacroix