White Buffalo Thriftery

The Little Maharaja Print

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- The Turkish Rider
- Eugène Delacroix
- c. 1834
- The taste for Oriental and exotic themes had spread across France during the 18th century and became more pronounced with the advent of Romanticism. Delacroix was influenced by this trend but it was in fact his trip to Morocco that would mark a turning point in his career. In 1832 the artist accompanied Count Charles de Mornay on an official trip around North Africa, including Morocco and Algeria, while Delacroix also found time to visit southern Spain. This long trip, which lasted from January to July, continued at Mequinés, where the artist arrived on 15March and where the diplomatic mission that he accompanied was received by Sultan Abderraman on the 22nd of that month. In early April Delacroix returned to Tangier, then travelled to Spain, returning to North Africa in June at which point he visited Algeria and Oran. His trip would provide him with material for the remainder of his career, and Delacroix made numerous sketches and drawings that would provide the basis for future compositions. He was fascinated with Arab culture and his impressions are also evident in his letters and other writings. In Africa, Delacroix discovered the classical world of the academic painters, seeing it, however, alive and before his eyes in the gestures of the inhabitants, their customs and clothing. He complained, however, that he could not draw the women as their Muslim culture made them inaccessible and he was only able to depict Jewish women.