Un Forgeron [A Blacksmith]
52.5 cm x 37.1 cm (20 11/16 in. x 14 5/8 in.)
Eugène Delacroix (aka Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix)
(Saint-Maurice, France, 1798 - 1863, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1992
Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres were rivals representing different sides of the debate over the form that art should take, and the Academy accepted both of them into its ranks. Unlike Ingres’s linear style, Delacroix’s art relies more on color (or in the case of prints, tone), rather than line and contour, and on an expressive application of the medium to convey its message.
An unconventional and anti-classical subject, Delacroix’s blacksmith, fashioned in the aftermath of the July Revolution (1830), offers a new and threatening image of the working class. Powerful and determined, standing in his shadowy and sinister workshop, the image of a blacksmith provoked strong emotions – confidence, pride and hope among the under class; fear and contempt among those who held political power.