Eugene Delacroix’s Heliodorus Driven from the Temple is a complex painting created between 1854 and 1861. inspired by sources including the Italian Renaissance and Islamic culture, it depicts Heliodorus being driven out after he was sent to seize the treasures of Jerusalem’s Temple. The preparation process involved a drawing of the main character, horse, and rider. The mural program includes scenes linked in a sequence that unifies the cycle of salvation history.
This painting is considered one of Delacroix’s most intricate works as it incorporates different themes that come together to create a visually appealing masterpiece. The use of contrasting colors and light plays an integral role in portraying this scene effectively. It also showcases his knowledge of ancient history through its biblical theme.
Although Raphael painted similar subject matter in his fresco, The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, painted between 1511-12, their styles can be seen to differ greatly with Delacroix utilizing modern techniques such as wax on plaster as well as blending traditional subjects with new forms.When looking at this artwork, notable elements that stand out are expressions on characters’ faces and how they interact with other figures present within this tumultuous scene.