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Pierre Petit Portrait of Delacroix

Pierre Petit(Aups, 1832 - Paris, 1909)

© RMN / M. Bellot

Pierre Petit
(Aups, 1832 - Paris, 1909)

MD 2002-114
Retouched photograph;
albumin print on gray-green cardboard
Gift of the Société des Amis du musée Delacroix, 2002
H. 27,5 ; L. 21 / carton : H. 0,440cm ; L. 0,340 cm
On cardboard : Pierre Petit 27, 29, 31, Place Cadet, Paris

The photograph portrays Delacroix in profile, looking to the left. The museum has another photograph by Pierre Petit, a half-length view of the painter seated and dressed, as in this image, in a three-piece suit and coat, with a black bow tie and white shirt. He is facing to the left in a three-quarters view, his bust and head facing forward, holding his monocle in his hand. In both photographs, Delacroix looks expressionless at the camera, his right hand in the pocket of his pants.


Delacroix and photography

A member of the Société Héliographique from its founding in 1851, Delacroix closely followed the increasing photographic experiments that started in the 1850s, although he did not fully support a process that he ultimately considered to be overly dependent on the "cruel reality of objects." He therefore posed, somewhat reluctantly, for well-known photographers - Laisné, Durieu, and Carjat, as well as Léger and Bergeron - fearing that he would in some way lose his identity. Delacroix demanded that Nadar, who obtained several sittings with difficulty, destroy the prints and the film. Pierre Petit, however, was able to take several portraits of Delacroix near the end of his life that were reprinted as lithographs after the painter’s death.


Collectif, Pierre Petit, photographer, catalogue exposition, International museum of Photography, Georges Eastman House, New-York, septembre 1980 - janvier 1981.

Jean Sagne, Delacroix et la photographie, Paris, 1982.

Sylvie Aubenas, "Les photographies d’Eugène Delacroix" in Revue de l’Art, 2000-1, n°127, pp.62-69.

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