In a beautiful courtyard hidden on the charming Furstemberg place, the Delacroix museum is a tiny museum that comes in three rooms, a studio and a garden. Eugène Delacroix left the right bank of Paris and settled in this place in December 1857 in order to be closer to the Saint-Sulpice church whose chapel he was to decorate. The possibility of enjoying the garden and building a studio led him to settle on Furstemberg place. Withdrawn from the world, his peaceful haven allowed him to create, even if the frenzy of the city surrounded him.
My apartment is decidedly charming. I felt slightly melancholic after dinner to find myself uprooted once more. I gradually became reconciled with the idea and went to bed delighted. Woke up the next day to see the most gracious sun on the houses opposite my window. The view of my little garden and the cheerful appearance of my studio always make me happy”.
(Journal, December 28, 1857)
He would remain there until his death in August 1863.
It was Delacroix who installed the monumental staircase which gives access to the apartment which is on the first floor, between the courtyard and the garden.
Hippolyte-Charles Gaultron – Copy after a self-portrait of Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix – The sea from the heights of Dieppe
Eugène Delacroix – Vase of flowers on a console
Attributed to Eugène Delacroix – View of Champrosay
Charles Courtry – Study for an etching to the glory of Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix – Sketch for Liberty leading the people
Delacroix’s former dining room, bedroom and living room house the museum’s current collections, and the last small room – which now houses the museum shop – was the painter’s library giving access to the studio and the garden.
The exterior wood and metal staircase – similar to the one that Delacroix had installed for his own use – leads to the artist’s studio, huge, with high ceilings and benefiting from the light from the monumental window.
Eugène Delacroix – Man posing in oriental costume
Eugène Delacroix – The tiger hunt
Eugène Delacroix – Studies of decorative ornaments, cats, a snake and a caiman
Eugène Delacroix – Horses and riders
The garden, confidential and bucolic, was imagined by Delacroix. Vines, thyme, currant bushes, raspberries and roses flourished in the painter’s time. It has since been redesigned and is closer to the writings of Delacroix, and now looks like a country garden.
It is to the Atelier Delacroix – the name under which the museum opened in 1932 – that the place owes its preservation. Lead by painters, collectors and curators who had never met Delacroix (a first in French museum history) but who admired his work, the Atelier Delacroix became a national museum in 1971.
Many of the painter’s works are not displays in this museum but remain numerous paintings, lithographs, prints and writings.
The place is absolutely charming.
May 20, 2022