Friday, November 14, 2014

Page from a letter to his paint dealer by Eugene Delacroix
October 28, 1827

How fun it was to see this image of a letter by Delacroix posted today by my friend Jim (fellow graduate art history student at the University of Oregon in the 1980s). He is known to have a paint dealer named Etienne-Francois Haro (1827-1897) but Delacroix wrote this letter in 1827, and Haro was born in 1827. It was most likely addressed to Jacques Francois Haro (1797-1844).
My translation is poor but I can read that he wanted 6 bladders/tubes of naples yellow and 2 bladders/tubes of cobalt blue, and 2 bladders/tubes of fishing black.

Note: Collapsible tin paint tubes were invented by American artist John Rand, in 1841, which resulted in more pre-mixed colors being available in a medium which was convenient for painting outdoors (en plein-air painting).

 Delacroix's Palette

"My freshly arranged palette, brilliant with contrasting colors, is enough to fire my enthusiasm," he noted in his Journal in 1850.

The painter RenĂ© Piot, who was Andrieu’s student, collected, in a book entitled Les Palettes de Delacroix (1930) all of Delacroix’s reflections on colors, color preparation, and especially, the arrangement of his colors on his palette, which he worked on meticulously until his health faltered. 

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