One of Delacroix's most striking prints, "Macbeth Consulting the Witches" owes its dynamic technique to the lithographs of Goya, whose monumental bullfight scenes had just been published in Bordeaux. Datable to 1825, this is probably Delacroix's first important work inspired by Shakespeare. An impression hand-colored in oils by the artist exists, suggesting that he was considering a related painting. The subject occurs in act 4, scene 1, where Macbeth meets the three witches for a second time to ask them about his future.
Macbeth Consultant les Sorcières
Signature: iin stone: 'E. Delacroix'
Inscription: in stone lower right: 'Lith. de G. Englemann ... MACBETH', lower center: 'Toil and trouble: Fire burn and cauldron bubble.'
Wildenstein & Co., Inc. (New York)(1952); Vendor: Maurice Le Garrec (French, died 1937)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 1, 1999–January 24, 2000.
Delteil 40 iii/v; Delteil/Strauber 40 iii/v
Adolphe Moreau Eugène Delacroix et son oeuvre. Librairie des Bibliophiles, Paris, 1873, cat. no. 36.
Loys Delteil "Le Peintre-Graveur Illustré: Ingres & Delacroix". Vol. III, Paris, 1908, cat. no. 40 iii, np.
Margret Stuffmann Eugène Delacroix. Themen und Variationen. Arbeiten auf Papier. Ex. cat. Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, Frankfurt, 1987, cat. no. G 5, p. 108.
Jacob Bean, Lee Johnson, William M. Griswold Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863): Paintings, Drawings, and Prints from North American Collections. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1991.
Loys Delteil, Susan Elizabeth Strauber Delacroix: The Graphic Work : A Catalogue Raisonné. San Francisco, 1997, cat. no. 40 iii, p. 98.
Maria Grazia Messina "Shakespeare and Romantic Painting in Europe" in Shakespeare in Art, published on the occasion of the exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery. Jane Martineau, 2003, pp. 174-179 (opinions of Shakespeare in France, stage productions and paintings made in response by Delacroix and Chasseriau).