Etching; 1st state on Chinese paper before lettering
Although this etching was mentioned in the catalogue of Delacroix’s posthumous sale as Jewish Woman of Algiers With a Negress, Seated Inside, it is actually part of a series of studies made by Delacroix in Tangier in 1832. He was able to attend a wedding after meeting several families among the city’s Jewish community.
Using his notes and a few sketches, he painted Jewish Wedding in Morocco in 1841 (Paris, Musée du Louvre).
One of the most significant events in Delacroix’s trip to Morocco in 1832 was a Jewish wedding he attended on 21 February; he described the most picturesque moments in a notebook now in the Louvre (Department of Prints and Drawings). Using his notes and a few sketches, in 1841 he painted a canvas that was exhibited at the Salon under the title Jewish Wedding in Morocco (Paris, Musée du Louvre). The following year, Delacroix described all the details of the ceremony in an article published in the Magasin pittoresque.
The imperturbable position of the Jewess, along with that of the servant seated against the wall and some of the objects in the background, also appear in a watercolor depicting a Moor visiting a Jewish bride, surrounded by members of her family (private collection). But by framing the etching on the figures of the bride and her servant, Delacroix gives the subject a noble and timeless aspect, which goes far beyond a mere narrative or picturesque depiction.
Loys Delteil, Susan Strauber, Eugène Delacroix. The Graphic Work. A Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1997, n°18 p. 40.
Lee Johnson,"Delacroix’s Jewish bride" in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXXVII, nov. 1997, p.755-759.
Barthélémy Jobert, in Delacroix, le trait romantique, catalogue exposition Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1998, p. 129 et n°145.