Subject: The French Revolution of 1830, Dimensions: 260cm x 325cm, Materials: Oil on Canvas, Artist: Eugene Delacroix, Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, Date of creation: 1830
Liberty Leading the People, it’s one of the painting that had been drawn through the duration of the revolution of 1830 in Paris where the painter started working on it after witnessing the open warfare in the streets of Paris that followed protests of the restrictive and from that he felt that he will be responsible of making people remember this serious event and recording its details. The fascinating colors of the painting control the composition and combined with the painter’s intense brushstrokes create an unforgettable canvas.
In the painting, we notice that the main figure is a half-nude female who is leading the people to a victory over the bodies of their fallen comrades. In one hand she is holding the French flag; in the other she’s grapping a rifle. When I looked to the painting for the first time, I noticed that the colors of the flag that the female was holding were bright in where those colors attract my eyes directly to the center of the painting creating a focal point. The artist created a shape of pyramid during his sketching and drawing where we can see that the head of this pyramid is the liberty at the top and the killed people on the ground were constructing the base of this pyramid. Moreover, this arrangement of characters in this shape created a balance in this dramatic and busy scene. In addition, if we get deeper into the painting, we can observe that Delacroix within his composition used the ingredient of color where the colors of the flag were composed of the bright red, white and blue and those colors were attracting the eyes of the viewer to the center of the painting. Also, he followed the same pattern of the colors just on the cloths of the man below the flag where he was wearing a belt with red color and a white shirt with a blue jacket over it. As an important note, the colors of the flag were not only for having an aesthetic touch but also for showing the importance of France in the heart of the people and representing the revolution.
As a huge merit, unity has been employed inside the painting as there’s a duplication of the colors where the dress of the female that holding the flag has the same yellow of the scarf of the injured man under her which shows that the fighters were united with Liberty. On the other side, variety has been established by the artist by different color of clothing of other characters in the painting which symbolize that every single class in the community is involving in this revolution and they are all aiming to achieve the same goal. One main perception that I should mention is the usage of the light in the painting where the artist spotted the light on the heroine by drawing a huge amount of smoke with the cannons and the sunlight around her to show that her status and enormous power that she had which created a texture gradient . However, the light also had been spotted on the injured soldiers under her so that we can remember them and do not forget how these loyal people sacrifice themselves to liber their country. Another thing we should notice that artist implied movement by treated the flag and the clouds in a wavy outline. Also, there’s contrast within the painting as the environment of the painting shows that there is a shift from dark, awful and depressed life to colorful and energetic one as the upper part of the painting stands for the goal that the people aim to reach which is liberty and the lower dark part of the painting shows the life condition at that time which were bad and led to the revolution.
From a context point of view, in my opinion, the painting embodies liberty as as a female leading people from different classes where she is uniting them all against the corrupt reign. In addition, the paining symbolizes the tidiness of the revolution and the reasons that make French people erupt for for liberty and change. Also, the painting is showing the great victory of the French where as I said all layers of the society were working together to take back their country. In addition, the painting shows the radical idea that instigated the French Revolution as we all must look up to the ideals of liberty.
In conclusion, this painting is one the greatest in the world which aims to show people that they should always be liberated and erupt against the oppressive governments whatever it takes from them in return and the artist has shown this idea within his painting by symbolizing the liberty as a female gathering all of the people around it and fighting for this supreme purpose.