The Death of Sardanapalus (1827-28) by Eugene Delacroix

The Death of Sardanapalus - DELACROIX, Eugene - 1827-28 - 3

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Death of Sardanapalus
ArtistEugene Delacroix
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions392 x 496 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France, Philadelphia Museum of Art

About The Death of Sardanapalus

Eugene Delacroix’s painting “The Death Of Sardanapalus” is a stunning example of Romantic art. Created in 1827, the painting depicts the final moments of the ancient Assyrian king, Sardanapalus, who lived in excess and self-indulgence. The king is shown on his extravagant red bed with flowing white and gold fabrics while overlooking a chaotic scene.

Delacroix was known for his passionate style, which made him one of the leading Romantic artists in Europe during the first half of the 19th century. This painting features many elements that define the Romantic art style. It has rich colors, dramatic lighting effects and strong emotions which make it an intense visual experience.

The inspiration for this piece came from Lord Byron’s dramatic poem about Sardanapalus. Although based on fictional characters and events, the work is a commentary on modern (for its time) political situations. Beyond being visually striking, his works often carried political messages that were controversial at that time.

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