Massacre on Chios by Eugene Delacroix

Massacre on Chios by Eugene Delacroix

The artist also devoted this picture to Greece – there was his “Guernica” – the island of Chios, when the Turkish janissaries cut out without pity both children and the elderly. He wrote in his diary: “I decided to write for the Salon scene of the massacre on the island of Chios.” This work is full of true, dramatic drama.

Groups of dying and still full strength men and women of different ages, from an ideally beautiful young couple in the center to the figure of a half-mad old woman expressing extreme tension, and a young mother dying next to her with a baby at her breast – on the right.

In the background – a Turk, trampling and chopping people, tied to the rump of his horse, a young Greek woman. And all this unfolds against the backdrop of a gloomy but serene landscape. Nature is indifferent to carving, violence, madness of mankind. And man, in turn, is insignificant in this nature.

The range of colors in the picture is light and at the same time very sonorous – turquoise and olive tones in the figures of the young Greek and Greek, blue-green and wine-red spots of the clothes of the mad old woman. The picture caused a tremendous stir in the French society.

Delacroix was called a madman, the painting was called gray, creepy, unnecessary, that she can only frighten. Writer Stendhal said that the picture is dominated by supernatural sorrow and darkness. However, the louder the audience was, the stronger was the desire to see the picture and the wider the glory of Delacroix spread.

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