Eugene Delacroix’s Sketch For The Death Of Sardanapalus is a painting that features a female nude who appears to have been killed from behind. This sketch is part of Delacroix’s larger work, The Death of Sardanapalus, which was inspired by Lord Byron’s tragedy of the same name. In this tragic masterpiece, Sardanapalus, the last king of Assyria, orders a mass execution and sets fire to his palace while he prepares to take his own life.
The female nude in the Sketch For The Death Of Sardanapalus is believed to represent one of the king’s concubines who willingly chooses death over being taken as a spoil-of-war by invading enemies. In this painting, Delacroix masterfully depicts her lifeless body with red draperies cascading around her form on the floor.
This painting showcases Delacroix’s use of vivid colors and emotional intensity. It is currently housed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris and remains an important artwork for both its artistic expression and historical significance. Furthermore, it shows how powerful symbolic gestures can be represented within a work through visual cues and elements put forth by Eugene Delcroix.