Eugène Delacroix, Seated Arab, a chalk drawing with watercolour

Morocco, AD 1832

A sketch from a Moroccan journey

Together with his friend Géricault, Delacroix (1798-1863) was at the head of the Romantic movement in France. The emotional intensity of his work, its exotic subject matter, and his pioneering use of colour all had an impact on the course of French art.

Delacroix was greatly affected by Constable's Hay Wain (exhibited in Paris in 1824), and the purchase of his Massacre at Chios by the French state enabled him to travel to England in 1825. Here he met David Wilkie and Sir Thomas Lawrence. Best known today for his grand paintings in the Musée du Louvre, including the Death of Sardanapalus (1827) and Liberty Leading the People (1830), he was also a prolific lithographer, writer, caricaturist and mural painter.

In 1832, Delacroix accompanied a diplomatic mission to Spain, Morocco and Algiers. His fascination with the characters of the arabs that he met fuelled his art for the rest of his life: 'at every step there are ready-made pictures', he wrote. This drawing was probably made in early June 1832 on Delacroix's second visit to Tangiers.

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More information


L. Johnson, The paintings of Eugène Delacr (Oxford, 1981-9)

T. Wilson-Smith, Delacroix: a life (London, Constable, 1992)


Height: 308.000 mm
Width: 274.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1968-2-10-24


Bequeathed by César Mange de Hauke


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