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Walter Scott (1711–1832)

Between 1821 and 1847, Delacroix drew inspiration from twelve poems and novels by this famous Scottish author.

He, like many of his fellow painters, had embraced the anglomania that had spread through the cultural strata of French society.

Thanks to the rapid translation of his works, Walter Scott was spectacularly successful. Ivanhoe (1820) and Quentin Durward (1823) were among his most popular novels, but Delacroix also borrowed several subjects from The Bride of Lammermoor (1821), which was adapted to the opera by Donizetti in 1835. He traveled to the Touraine region in 1828 to visit his brother, General Charles-Henri Delacroix, but also to follow in the footsteps of Walter Scott, seeking the ghosts of Louis XI and Quentin Durward.

Toward the end of his life, the painter’s enthusiasm for Walter Scott diminished, as he derived less pleasure from reading these historical novels, in which the intrigue was buried under a mass of details.

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