Lectures are in the PlayHouse: 10.45 for morning members: 13.30 for afternoon members.

Completed – November 2019

Following in the Steps of Delacroix in North Africa

By Jacqueline Cockburn

Jacqueline Cockburn took us on an amazing journey to The Orient. We saw the Orient Imagined and the Orient Experienced, through the art of the colourist Eugene Delacroix.
People in the late 18th century and 19th century imagined the Orient as full of wild, savage, frightening and dangerous people where the women were often naked. Delacroix’s imagination and his recognition of the effectiveness of Chevreuil’s colour circle resulted in paintings such as Dante’s Inferno and made him a popular artist. Delacroix’s ability to represent the naked human figure is remarkable as shown in Death of Sardanapalus.
However, by the time Delacroix travelled to the Orient in 1832, as part of a diplomatic mission, his paintings become realistic. He wrote diaries and sketched and later incorporated the sketches into paintings. On this mission were two people who became important to him and invited him into their homes: Abraham Ben Chimoi a Jewish man and Benn Abbou a Muslim. He snatched sketches of them so, for example, he depicted Chimoi’s daughter who was about to be married. Everyone was clothed! He went to the wedding in Morocco and painted that too. Ben Abbu took him to Arab cemeteries which he drew and in his painting The Convulsionists of Tangier can be seen the harmony of orange, yellow and green.