How to Capture Delacroix’s Oriental Mystique into your Life.

by Joelle

 

 

Last weekend I went to the much awaited exhibition  at the MET of the French painter Eugène Delacroix . One of the greatest creative figures of the nineteenth century,  coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he reconnected the present to the past on his own terms.

Not only I was beyond impressed in front of such extraordinary living masterpieces, a joint project with the Musée du Louvre of which many never before seen in the United States or elsewhere , but what really struck me was not only the artist but the man behind the 150 paintings, drawings, prints, and manuscripts and moving quotes.  I have posted a few on this article, let me know if they resonate with you the same they did with me.

  1. LIVE HAPPILY

 

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing “

Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. As a writer,  designer,  consultant , entrepreneur, mother and daughter managing a small Manhattan apartment without enough closet space,  I find it hard to cope with my everyday life and often called OCD.  Listening to  Sarah Rosemary’s podcast after seeing Delacroix extraordinary paintings, I  finally realized that wanting to be  a perfectionist will only slow me down!

2.  USE YOUR IMMAGINATION

 

 The source of genius is imagination alone, . . . the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently” 

Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. I often try to do the same, especially when I take a picture of a subject I would like to show with a different light. Delacroix,  in one of my favorite paintings, “Women of Algiers in Their Apartment” (1834) paints three Algerian women wearing brightly colored clothing and seated casually on the floor of a richly decorated interior. The woman on the left reclines on a pillow and gazes towards the viewer while the other two turn their heads toward one another, as if engaged in conversation.

Many of the works Delacroix created after 1832 were inspired by his enormously influential trip to Morocco of that year. Both in subject and style, these works reflect the voyage’s transformative effect on his art, in his palette of rich, sensuous colors for instance.  Fascinated with what he saw but also his imaginative embellishments in rendering a scene of Romantic exoticism  he  described the experience as causing, “a fever that could barely be held in check by sherbets and fruit. ” Business coach Scott Jeffrey revelas how the use of imagination can empower our creativity and turn us successful entrepreneurs.

3. WORK HARD

Do all the work you can; that is the whole philosophy of the good way of life”.

Nature is a dictionary; one draws words from it

The Met exhibition  unfolds chronologically, encompassing the rich variety of themes that preoccupied the artist during his more than four decades of activity, including literature, history, religion, animals, and nature. Through rarely seen graphic art displayed alongside such iconic paintings as Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1826), The Battle of Nancy (1831)  and Medea about to Kill Her Children (1838), this exhibition explores an artist whose protean genius set the bar for virtually all other French painters. Founder of  Jason Fried  CEO of Basecamp a renowned web application private company,  on his article If you’re reading this you probably don’t do hard work  elaborates about what is and isn’t hard work. All of us agree we need directions that can guide  us. We want to give a sense of  what we do and why we do it hoping that our life’s purpose will lead us to happiness and peace of mind can only be achieved with hard work and of course a bit of luck.

4.BE DARING

A taste for simplicity cannot endure for long.

 

Like many of 19th-century French painters, Delacroix loved Orient.We can even say that “Orientalism” was a genre of the 19th-century Academic art depicting the Middle East and North Africa Everything started with Napoleon and his ultimately unsuccessful invasion of Egypt and Syria in 1798–1801, which stimulated great public interest in Egyptology. The artists’ interest in this exotic, colorful and mysterious world didn’t stop until the first decades of the 20th-century.

What was typical in such images was portraying the Orient as exotic, colorful and sensual, not to mention stereotyped. The works typically concentrated on Oriental Islamic, Hebraic, and other Semitic cultures, as those were the ones visited by artists as France became more engaged in North Africa. Lounging odalisques became very popular while other scenes, especially in genre painting, were seen as either closely comparable to their equivalents set in modern-day or historical Europe. The patterns and colors in this painting directly influenced such modern artists as Cézanne, Renoir, and Matisse, whose many odalisques owe a debt to Delacroix’s North African scenes of languid femininity. Delacroix was coined as the first Modernist.

I love colorful interiors , hand embroidered pillows in a variant of textures and sizes,  my grandmother’s Turkish slippers  from Izmir, Samarkand rugs, ikat clutches, Armenian jewelry , mother of pearl furniture and rose scented drinks and loukums ( Turkish Delight). Here a  pistachio filled  recipe

5. FIND YOUR ANSWERS IN NATURE

 “Nature is a dictionary; one draws words from it”

Watch fierce animals and understand human emotions and passions personified as tame. Sit under a tree and discover  that a single rose can be your garden.

 

 

 

 

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