WahooArt.com - Eugène Delacroix
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The Barque of Dante by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863, France) | Famous Paintings Reproductions | WahooArt.com
The Barque of Dante is the first major painting by the French artist Eugène Delacroix, and is one of the works signalling a shift in the character of narrative painting from Neo-Classicism towards the Romantic movement. It was completed in time for the opening of the Salon of 1822 and currently hangs in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. The painting is loosely based on fictional events taken from canto eight of Dante’s Inferno. A leaden, smoky mist and the blazing City of the Dead form the backdrop against which the poet Dante endures a fearful crossing of the River Styx. He is steadied by the learned poet of antiquity Virgil as they plough through waters heaving with tormented souls. The arrangement of figures is for the most part compliant with the tenets of the cool, reflective Neo-Classicism that had dominated French painting for nearly four decades. There is a group of central upright figures, and a rational arrangement of subsidiary figures, all in horizontal planes, and observing studied poses.