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    Eugène Delacroix. Five Autograph Letters Signed.
    1) ALS. "Eug. Delacroix." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8", n.p.; Wednesday, n.d. In this undated letter addressed to "Princess," Delacroix writes [English translation], "I am forced to forfeit the pleasure of spending the evening with you: for four hours I have had a migraine that is forcing me to lie down. Only such a motive could keep me in. I am sending you a note that will allow you to visit the hotel [illegible] tomorrow Thursday. I have informed myself that we can go there in all confidence. I found your card [illegible] just as you had left. What a waste: you are too kind to have taken the trip for a formless sketch. I will present my apologies in person one of these days between 5 and 6 pm." 2) ALS. "E. Delacroix." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8", n.p.; Saturday, n.d. In this letter to "Princess," Delacroix writes [English translation], "I do not know how to express the confusion I feel at this renewed attention I have received [not clear from whom] and at the kindness [illegible] great artist: I only want from him [illegible] regarding that subject, as well as to the cordial invitation he has extended for me to visit him at [illegible] while I will be going [illegible]. Unfortunately my plans have changed on account that I am required to be present here for the exhibition jury and since I cannot disengage myself from being, in three or four days' time, in the South of France, in other words at the opposite end, I will not have time to go embrace the friends I have in Strasbourg. I would have come tell you all this if I had hoped to find you today, instead I thought of coming tomorrow Sunday before your dinner. The part of your letter in which you tell me when I can visit you is unfortunately a bit smudged and I cannot figure what you wrote. If I do not hear from you by then I will come by before 5pm so as to leave you time to prepare for your dinner. As for your invitation for Tuesday, I regret that I cannot attend since I leave Monday morning....I will bring you a note for Liszt [Franz Liszt (1811-1886), the Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, and music teacher]that I would ask you to take care of."

    3) ALS. "E. Delacroix." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8", n.p.; March 2, 1857. In another letter to "Princess," Delacroix responds late to her previous letter due to an illness serious enough that he was incapable of doing much of anything during three months. He received her letter as well as a letter from Liszt when he was in quite a miserable state. He neglected a cold which then led to successive relapses and now he must take great care to recover properly. He thanks his lucky star that she did not immediately go through with the visit to Paris she mentioned in her letter since he would have been crushed to be able only to see her (he is barred from speaking). Such a hiatus in his work will inevitably lead to disorder and instead of devoting the summer to completing the Saint-Sulpice Chapel, he may have to go to the Pyrenees instead. He is generally in a sad and depressed state. Remembers so fondly the time they shared and is all the more melancholic that fate has placed them such a great distance apart. Please transmit the adjoining letter to Liszt. 4) ALS. "E. Delacroix." Four page bifolium in French, 5.25" x 8", Paris; November 27, 1859. In this letter to "Princess," Delacroix explains that he just returned to Paris and attended a session and received both her letters which could not be forwarded during his absence since he was not in one place long enough. Wishes he could have crossed paths with her in Paris to reiterate how grateful he is for her kindness toward him. He is very disappointed that his efforts, Halevy's efforts [Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy, usually known as Fromental Halévy (1799-1862), a French composer], her efforts, and the efforts of a few other people were insufficient to sway the Academy into accepting Liszt's candidacy. All agreed on the reign of his talent in Europe but fewer agreed that he was strictly a composer. Thinks some knew very well how meritorious Liszt was but felt pressure to conform and didn't hop off the "but he's not a real composer" bandwagon, so that faction ended up with the upper hand. Wishes he could have joined her and Liszt as they sat around the green rug where Delacroix and Princess would reunite/spend time together. He says that French people are ignorant of what goes on in Germany and that musical productions, especially large-scale ones, are hard to organize there, not to mention most people do not recognize the merit of original musical compositions. Turning to his own work, he says an illness from three years prior which took him a very long time to fully recover from slowed his progress significantly on "his chapel." 5) ALS. "E. Delacroix." Four page bifolium, 5.25"x 8", [Paris?]; February 2, 1860. In this letter to "Princess," Delacroix writes that he has just begun to recover from a two-month long illness that prevented him from writing and barely allowed him to read letters. Thanks her for her most recent, kind and sweet, letter though he was surprised to find she included Liszt sheet music because he cannot read music. A man like Maboy [?] would appreciate it justly first for the simple pleasure and second for its originality. Delacroix has little knowledge of music and would need to hear a piece played by an orchestra before he could appreciate the piano portion on its own. During his illness he was "forced" to listen to several pieces by Wagner [Richard Wagner (1813-1883), German composer and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas], which were performed in Paris. He has not heard any opinions on them. She had told him previously that Liszt liked Wagner's music, or rather that his ideas on his own recent musical endeavors were in harmony with Wagner's. Delacroix comments on the notion that novelty in music is positive and although certain "eternal" rules apply across the board to all "tasteful works", there must be room for innovation by geniuses. Presents his respects to Madame the daughter of his correspondent and present Liszt with his sincere regret for the scandalous refusal of the Academy to at the very least place him on the list of candidates on the pretext that he is not a composer. A few voices cried out in protest but none as eager as his own to highlight Liszt's illustrious accomplishments.

    Delacroix drew inspiration from many sources over his career, such as the literary works of William Shakespeare and Lord Byron, the artistry of Michelangelo, and also from music. It was often in music, in the most melancholy renditions of Chopin, or the pastoral works of Beethoven that Delacroix was often able to draw the most emotion and inspiration. At one point during his life, Delacroix befriended and made portraits of the composer Chopin. In addition to Chopin, Delacroix also thought highly of the music and artistry of Franz Liszt, as these letters attest.

    Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic School.

    Condition: Letters have usual folds; otherwise very good.

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    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
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