Visages de l’effroi, Violence et Fantastique de David à Delacroix


Drawing, painting, sculpture

Visages de l’effroi, Violence et Fantastique de David à Delacroix

Past: November 3, 2015 → February 28, 2016

With a collection of more than 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures by David, Girodet, Gericault, Ingres and Delacroix, Faces of terror presents French forms of fantastical Romanticism. This darker part of 19th century art reveals a certain strength of spirit and provides a fascinating perspective on imagination during the romantic period. Romanticism, although often reduced to a feeling of discontentment among the people of the 18th century that was generated by the upheavals of the time, without a doubt expresses the feeling of disenchantment of a whole generation, built on the ruins of the Ancien Régime and the tumult of the French Revolution. In the overflow of extreme emotions these artists skilfully found subjects for a new kind of aesthetic, exploring the dark side of the human soul, at a time when dreams and the irrational were emerging from the latency of Reason and the spirit of the Enlightenment period.

From the end of the 18th century, the form of Neoclassicism adopted by the greatest artists depicted the death of heroes and portrayed the violence of tragedies from ancient history, simultaneously justified by both moral values and academic proprieties. Terror, political upheaval and Napoleonic war generated a much more blatant perspective of horror that was no longer the prerogative of historical paintings. During the period of the Restoration of the monarchy, the development of the mainstream press led to broadcasts of reports of bloody violence across the country, which became topical issues for artists. The Romantic period focused on the supernatural and sometimes morbid, and depicted — through a little-known abundance of works — a crude reality as well as the strange, dusky figures of spectres and devils from the literature and poetry of the time. This dialogue with the supernatural is notably depicted in representations of the myth of Ossian, or in the success of Dante’s work with the torment of the condemned. “This exhibition has been organised in a collaboration between the Museum of Romantics, Paris-Musées and the Museum of La Roche-sur- Yon”.

Musée de la Vie Romantique Museum
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Hôtel Scheffer-Renan
16, rue Chaptal

75009 Paris

T. 01 55 31 95 67


Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Closed on Mondays and bank holidays.

Admission fee

Full rate €6.00 — Concessions €4.00

14-26 ans : 3,5 euros. Accès gratuit dans les collections permanentes.

The artists

  • Delacroix
  • Scheffer
  • David