Alexandre Dumas was certainly one of the most famous French novelists and a leading figure of literary romanticism, along with Victor Hugo.
He was self-taught, and had been forced to earn his own living from the age of fourteen. In 1823, he moved to Paris, and the first dramatic turn of events, both literally and figuratively, took place in 1829 at the Comédie Française with the performance of Henri III and His Court. Subsequent plays, Christine (which inspired Delacroix) and Antony, confirmed his success with the public.
In 1844, he took on novel-writing with the publication of four books, which are famous to this day: The Three Musketeers, the Regent’s Daughter, The Count of Monte-Cristo and Queen Margot. His production seemed to be almost industrial in scope. With an amazing productivity and speed, he wrote a succession of novels in serial form, memoirs, memories and theatrical adaptations. Delacroix and Dumas saw each other fairly frequently around 1830, and their relationship remained cordial until the end (Delacroix sketched a painting for a costumed ball organized by the author; King Rodrigue, Bremen, Kunsthalle).