Eugène Delacroix’s dashing style and vibrant palette would inspire later generations of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters. He was rumored to be the illegitimate son of the great French statesman Talleyrand, which perhaps explains his early talent for landing grand public commissions. A leading light of Romantic painting, Delacroix was influenced both by painterly Old Masters such as Rubens and innovative contemporary English painters such as Bonington and Constable. Recognition came at the Paris Salon of 1822 with the success of his The Barque of Dante. A trip to Morocco in 1832 furnished him with a zest for the exotic, encouraging a shift towards looser brushwork and more intense color. He spent the latter part his career working on vast public murals, such as Jacob and the Angel (1854-61). His personal antagonism with the great academic painter Ingres has come to define the divide between the Romantic and Classical traditions.
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