With its new presentation, opening to the public on 3 July, the Musée Delacroix takes a new look at the artist’s works: how are Delacroix’s human subjects, real or fictional, dressed? What is the role of clothing or its absence in depicting the subject? Did Delacroix seek to paint specific costumes appropriate to an era?

Studying these clothes, which might seem secondary but are in fact extremely present in the museum collection’s works, is another way of illuminating the artist’s sources of inspiration and his creative process.
Many works also show his particular interest in the pictorial treatment of textiles in general, their colours and draping, the golden embroidery, the patterns, and more.

In 1857, Eugène Delacroix wrote in a notebook: ‘How could a feeling for the beautiful and suitable not be perverted in societies where fashion rules as a despot, where the shape of a hat, divine three weeks ago, is considered horrible and abominable today?
And yet, although Delacroix scorned fashion, he gave great importance to the treatment of clothing in his portraits: printed or embroidered patterns, collars, waistcoats... Above all, he brought out with a vibrant pictorial touch the varied textures of different textiles. In a self-portrait, he depicts himself as a dandy, in a green tartan waistcoat of which he was particularly fond. A large scarf was one of his signature accessories. In the 19th century, men’s suiting was often black, with a silhouette influenced by English fashions.

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