In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week: Eugène Delacroix, “Reclining Nude.”
There is no debate that Eugène Delacroix (1798–1873) was one of the most important artists in France during the Romantic period. Through his use of expressive brushwork and exquisite color, Delacroix challenged the boundaries of Neoclassicism championed by his contemporaries, such as Ingres, drawing inspiration from the Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens and renowned colorists of the Venetian Renaissance such as Titian.
Rather than adhering to the ideals of Greek and Roman art, Delacroix, along with his close artistic and spiritual companion Thèodore Gèricault, sought the exotic through travels to North Africa and had a strong identification with the Romantic idea of “the sublime,” a term made popular by — among others — the poet Lord Byron.
Albeit small, a beautiful painting attributed to Delacroix is available from Trinity International Auctions during the October 10 sale beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern. Titled “Reclining Nude,” the 10 x 16 painting shows a female exotic nude reclining on pillows and tapestries. Propping her head, the figure looks in profile out of the frame. Hints of gold jewelry, her headdress, and patterned bedding suggest that the figure is of foreign nationality, perhaps a subject painted during the artist’s travels to North Africa. The piece is signed in the lower right corner.
The robust nature of the figure recalls the well-endowed bodies of a Rubens composition while the luminance and masterful use of colors also recall Delacroix’s Venetian sympathies. Set against a sparsely populated and dark background, the brightly lit figure contrasts sharply with her surroundings, allowing her figure to separate from the surface with convincing three-dimensionality.
To view the full catalogue, visit Trinity International Auctions.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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