Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)

Eugène Delacroix: Gretchens Schatten erscheint Faust (um 1826/27)

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) counts among the greatest colorists of the nineteenth century and is the leading artist of French Romanticism. Delacroix’s illustrations for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s Faust are among his most accomplished interpretations in the field of the fine arts. Altogether seventeen scenes were illustrated by the artist in individual studies and brush drawings between 1825 and 1827. The drawing at hand, Gretchens Schatten erscheint Faust (Gretchen’s Shadow Appears to Faust), is a study for the lithography of this composition from 1827. The lithographies for Faust are kept in a hardback edition at the library of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Before this backdrop, this drawing ideally supplements the collection of French drawings held by the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings). At the same time, it is a beautiful piece of evidence of the dialogue among the disciplines related to the history of German and French literature, art and culture. Furthermore, the work reflects Delacroix’s ability to artistically translate the psychological dimensions of Goethe’s narration, accounting for the unparalleled quality of his illustrations – as once acknowledged by the author himself.