Adolphe Thiers had praised Eugène Delacroix’s work at the Salon starting in 1822.
In 1833, he commissioned the painter to decorate the Salon du Roi, known as the Salon Delacroix, in the Palais Bourbon; it was completed in 1838. It included a ceiling divided into eight coffers, - four large and four small - a continuous frieze above the archivolts on the four sides of the room, and eight pilasters between the bay windows. He used a mixture of oil paint combined with wax, which he painted directly on the wall or on a canvas stretched over a frame, which gave the paint a mat texture similar to that of distemper. Delacroix chose the themes of government power, depicted allegorically: Justice, Agriculture, Industry, and War.
He personified the seas and rivers of France on the pilasters. He worked alone on this large project, which clearly reflected his classical aspirations.