Autograph Letter Signed and 100 Franc Note - 100
Autograph Letter Signed, in French to an illegible recipient. 1p, 16mo., undated, mounting strip to left on verso, boldly written and very good. Also included is a 100 Franc note of former French currency from 1986 honoring Delacroix, whose bust is featured on both sides. Though difficult to decipher completely, it is translated somewhat as:
Dear Da… [unclear]
I am sending you a letter to say I was not able to go to see our friend myself. Have a good trip if I do not see you before you leave, I would go over there, tell him and kiss everyone for me.
FERDINAND VICTOR EUGÈNE DELACROIX (1798-1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of color profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
At a sale of his work in 1864, 9,140 works were attributed to Delacroix, including 853 paintings, 1,525 pastels and water colors, 6,629 drawings, 109 lithographs, and over 60 sketch books. The number and quality of the drawings, whether done for constructive purposes or to capture a spontaneous movement, underscored his explanation, “Colour always occupies me, but drawing preoccupies me.”
Delacroix produced several fine self-portraits, and a number of memorable portraits which seem to have been done purely for pleasure, among which were the portrait of fellow artist Baron Schwiter, an inspired small oil of the violinist Nicolò Paganini, and a double portrait of his friends, the composer Frédéric Chopin and writer George Sand; the painting was cut after his death, but the individual portraits survive.
On occasion Delacroix painted pure landscapes (The Sea at Dieppe, 1852) and still-lifes (Still Life with Lobsters, 1826-7), both of which feature the virtuoso execution of his figure-based works. He is also well known for his Journals, in which he gave eloquent expression to his thoughts on art and contemporary life. His works grace the walls of the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, and the Hotel de Ville of Paris.
Self portrait, 1837
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