Eugène Delacroix, Further Correspondence, 1817-1863

Eugène Delacroix, Further Correspondence, 1817-1863

Eugène Delacroix, Further Correspondence, 1817-1863

Eugène Delacroix, Further Correspondence, 1817-1863

Synopsis

This book is comprised of a new collection of over 200 letters by the foremost French Romantic painter, the greater number of which are previously unpublished. They date from every decade of Delacroix's career, are addressed to a wide variety of correspondents, from domestic servants or artisans to famous writers such as Stendhal and George Sand, and shed light on his attitudes on politics, religion, and patronage of the arts, as well as revealing more intimate aspects of his relations with family and women.

Excerpt

The first edition of Delacroix's correspondence, presented by Philippe Burty, appeared in 1878, fifteen years after the artist's death, and contained over 300 letters. A second, enlarged edition was issued in two volumes in 1880, with further letters bringing the total to nearly 400. André Joubin, editor also of Delacroix Journal, published what has become the standard edition of the Correspondence between 1935 and 1938, greatly expanding Burty's seminal work by making more than 1,500 letters available. This was supplemented in 1954 by a valuable, small collection of fifty- six letters, mostly early, published by its owner Alfred Dupont under the title Lettres intimes.

The present collection, the first in French for almost forty years, offers over 200 letters and autograph notes, more than two-thirds of which are published for the first time. Of the unpublished manuscripts, nearly two-thirds are preserved in the archives of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Los Angeles, whose rich holdings form the core of this book and initially provided me with the incentive to prepare it. Besides the unpublished material, I have collected about sixty letters previously published in diverse books and periodicals, but not by Joubin or Dupont, thus further supplementing their editions with a substantial body of scattered letters that can now be consulted in a single volume. They are drawn from about five books and twice as many journals, ranging from the relatively obscure Danish Tilskueren and French Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Chinon to more widely circulated specialist publications like the Burlington Magazine and Gazette des Beaux-Arts. The dates of first publication span a period from 1878 to 1987.

Following Joubin's example, I have also added from dealers' catalogues some extracts of letters whose whereabouts are unknown to me. I have not, however, attempted a systematic search of catalogues of sales since 1938 or to keep track of the autograph letters that continue regularly to come on to the market on both sides of the Atlantic. But I should be grateful to hear from owners or curators of letters that are . . .

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