Eugène Delacroix French

Not on view

Around 1849–50, Delacroix became captivated by the challenge of capturing the light effects of cloud formations and chose pastel to convey his impressions. While he used the medium throughout his career, the sky studies constitute his largest cohesive group in pastel. Delacroix’s sensitive analysis of color is evident both in the drawing and in a corresponding description of a sunset in his journal: "The gray of the clouds in the evenings verges on blue; the clear parts of the sky are bright yellow or orange. . . . The greater the contrast, the more brilliant the effect." He noted making such a drawing "with an eye to my ceiling," likely referring to his recent commission for the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre, which ultimately featured radiating sunbeams surrounding the central figure.

Sunset, Eugène Delacroix (French, Charenton-Saint-Maurice 1798–1863 Paris), Pastel on blue laid paper

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.