With the triumph of industry, coal and the railway, the 19th century cultivated nostalgia for nature, much like we do today. It is not the least of the paradoxes in Delacroix’s career that the artist of Liberty Leading the People, July 28, 1830 decided, in the aftermath of a new revolution, to show five floral paintings at the Salon of 1849.
A regular guest of writer George Sand to the grounds of the Château de Nohant, Delacroix then acquired a house in the village of Champrosay to rest in the tranquility of his garden. The use of a private garden is also what encouraged him to move into the apartment on rue de Furstenberg in Paris, in 1857.
Following the renovation of this secret haven, the Musée Eugène-Delacroix is presenting this winter an exhibition that brings together for the first time the artist’s main floral paintings and most beautiful watercolors, on loan from a variety of museums in France and abroad. These artworks will be joined by those of two renowned contemporary artists who have made flowers central to their inspiration: Jean-Michel Othoniel, creator of Kiosque des noctambules at the entrance to the Palais-Royal Métro station, and Johan Creten, a sculptor who recently gained recognition for his creations for the Sèvres Manufactory.
The parallel is not drawn to shock, but to illustrate the permanence of floral inspiration, in the 19th century and 21st century alike, for artists whose creative journeys are fully in step with the times.
Musée du Louvre Website