Arabs Skirmishing In The Mountains is an oil on canvas painting created by Eugène Delacroix in 1863. Measuring 92.5 x 74.5 cm, the painting depicts a dynamic encounter between Arab warriors in the mountains, inspired by Delacroix’s visit to Morocco in 1832. Being a French Romantic artist and leader of the French Romantic school, Delacroix was known for his vibrant colors and expressive brushstrokes.
The scene portrays a clash between two groups of horse-mounted Arab warriors battling it out in a rugged terrain amidst clouds of dust and smoke. The painting features intensive movement with strong contrasts; dark horses against bright skies, swords slashing through robes, and riders lunging forward on their galloping horses. Interestingly, the composition is asymmetrical; with more space to the left side than to the right side that creates tension between figures.
Today, Arabs Skirmishing In The Mountains forms part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., where it continues to draw both art enthusiasts and historians alike due to its masterful storytelling technique and unique liberties challenged by convention at its time of creation.