Rebecca and the Wounded Ivanhoe

Eugène Delacroix French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 801

This was Delacroix’s first treatment of a subject drawn from Sir Walter Scott’s popular novels of medieval chivalry. The eponymous hero of Ivanhoe (1819), straining to leave his sickbed, listens to the terrified Rebecca as she describes a battle raging outside the window. Rather than show the battle itself, Delacroix sought to stimulate the viewer’s imagination by evoking violence through the gestures of the characters reacting to it. The fastidious execution of Rebecca’s extended hand stands in contrast to the jumble of strokes immediately surrounding it and to its left, which suggest the frenzy she witnesses.

Rebecca and the Wounded Ivanhoe, Eugène Delacroix (French, Charenton-Saint-Maurice 1798–1863 Paris), Oil on canvas

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