Delacroix's Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople

Delacroix's Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople
Delacroix's Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople
Anonim

This is a canvas painted in oil by Eugene Delacroix in the 1940s. The cloth is currently kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The theme chosen is very romantic, since on the one hand it is related to the past and the glories of the country, and on the other hand it has its content and orientalizing atmosphere, so much in the taste of the time and Delacroix in particular, who made numerous works with that setting, both of a costumbrist nature such as Women of Algiers, and in scenes with historical themes such as the Massacre of Chios. In fact, this theme of the Crusaders entering Constantinople had everything that motivated the painter, which is why it inspired several works.

Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople by Delacroix

Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople by Delacroix

As for the scene itself, you can see details that show the influence of both Baroque art by Rubens, and painting of Venice. Not in vain, Venetian art was the point of entry of the oriental in Europe.

And both Rubens and the painting of Venetian artists have in common the careful treatment of color. Something that Delacroix also carries out with great care. For example, in this work everything tends to pose contrasts between complementary colors, doing so almost froma scientific point of view.

The way the figures are represented is also very interesting, many of which appear practically foreshortened, some very daring, since they almost suggest a placement perpendicular to the surface of the painting.

All these are notes referring to the pictorial elements themselves, but this work also serves as a magnificent image of what Eugene Delacroix, and other artists and intellectuals of the 19th century, and specifically of the period Romanticism, they considered to be the relationship between barbarism and civilization.

We see a dark sky at the top and the crusaders appear wrapped in a kind of shadow, also dark blue. It would be these crusaders who actually represent barbarism, who are looking with sorrow and perplexity at the vanquished, the inhabitants of Constantinople (current Istanbul), whom they will end up destroying.

And the fact is that when the Europeans sent the crusaders to the Holy Land, they devastated places as culturally rich as Constantinople, heiress at that time of the splendid Byzantine culture.

The artist himself described this work as his “third massacre”, evidently linking the scene withThe Massacre of Chios, and with the painting of the Death of Sardanapalo. And yet, it has neither the indignation that the first transmits, nor the frenzy that surrounds the image of the second.

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