Eugène Delacroix Museum

Set up by friends and admirers of Delacroix, including Matisse, Denis and Signac, this national museum is rich in works by the master and is "decidedly charming", in the artist's own words.

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l'hôtel des saints pères le musée eugène delacroix

Originally the artist’s home, becoming a museum after his death, the museum collection bears witness to the life of the artist, while paying homage to him through the works on display, including Mary Magdalen in the Wilderness.

 

The history of the museum told by the Hôtel des Saints Pères

In 1857, Eugène Delacroix, faced with advancing age, decided to move closer to Saint-Eustache Church to make it easier for him to follow the project to decorate the chapel, for which he had been commissioned. He moved to 6 Rue de Fürstenberg and, as he noted in his journal, did not regret it: “My home is decidedly charming (...). The view over my little garden and the cheerful appearance of my studio always bring me a feeling of pleasure”. He remained there until his death, which occurred six years later. After his death, it was decided to demolish the building that housed his studio.

A number of major artists, such as Henri Matisse and Paul Signac, and presided over by the painter Maurice Denis began a campaign and set up The Society of Friends of Eugène Delacroix to prevent the destruction of the building and to perpetuate the works of Delacroix. The building was finally spared demolition and put on sale. The Society sold all the artist’s works to the national museums and was then able to buy Delacroix’s studio, his private garden and apartment. The building was then donated to the French state, and became a national museum in 1971. Today, the building, which is eight minutes away on foot from the Hôtel des Saints Pères, is listed as an Historic Monument.

 

The museum collections

The Eugène Delacroix National Museum, which has been managed by the Louvre since 2004, includes a rich collection of the artist's works. These include paintings such as Mary Magdalen in the Wilderness which was celebrated by Baudelaire as: “so supernaturally beautiful that we can tell she is ringed with the halo of death or graced by the swoon of divine love” or the painting Romeo and Juliet before the Tomb of the Capulets. The museum also contains the artist's sketches, which were used for the paintings in Saint Sulpice Church.

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