Before the nineteenth century, much of Europe was totally oblivious of the Oriental world. These far-off places only seemed like wastelands in the imagination of most Europeans. It was only after the celebrated painter Eugene Delacroix traveled to North Africa in 1832 that the Western world would be introduced to the Oriental world and the various cultures of the natives of these mystical lands. Delacroix produced over 100 lush paintings from real and imagined experiences in the Orient, depicting the unique way of life of the people in the Orient and their vibrant cultures. These paintings were crucial in bringing the issues of cultural diversity and identity to the fore in the Western world. Almost single-handedly, Eugene Delacroix brought a greater appreciation of Oriental cultural identity in Europe.
Culture and identity are issues which are still very influential in today’s world. This is why the Lilian Thuram Foundation: Education against Racism has teamed up with the Musee National Eugene-Delacroix on a unique exhibition showcasing the Oriental paintings of Eugene Delacroix. It is their hope that this exhibition and the accompanying lectures will ignite public discussion on the works of Delacroix in the Orient and their resonance on the politics of identity in the contemporary world.
Françoise Vergès, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, and Lilian Thuram.
From January 11th, 2018, to April 2nd, 2018
Musée National Eugène-Delacroix,
6 rue de Furstenberg,