Angelica and the wounded Medoro - Eugène Delacroix
oil on canvas
81.0 x 65.1 cm stretcher; 105.5 x 88.5 x 11.5 cm frame
Purchased with assistance from the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1996
Representing a romantic prelude to certain aspects of impressionist technique, this composition from the inestimable Delacroix has a special place in the collection. It links the formidable tradition of history painting to the subtler project of modernity. Here is an object less for instruction than delectation. Almost athletic in handling, the paint is applied in speedy flourishes typical of Delacroix's late manner. Though the works of his youth and maturity were frequently large in scale, he produced smaller easel paintings and sketches throughout his career. 'Angelica and the wounded Medoro' is a literary subject he tackled more than once, though rarely with the freedom and spontaneity of this version. Like Picasso, Delacroix was a ceaseless re-inventor of his own forms, which reflected his inner state at any given time.AGNSW Handbook, 1999.