Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Delacroix Don Giovanni

I was doing some research and came across this painting which seems not at all to be mentioned on the internet, or at least not identified. Lest it fall into obscurity. . .

The Last Scene From Don Giovanni, by Eugène Delacroix.

1824. 55.9 by 45.7 cm. (Private Collection)

As he did with Medea About to Kill Her Children, Delacroix captured a psychologically rich moment, manipulating our knowledge of what is about to transpire. Here, only Leporello and Donna Elvira know the Commendatore has taken up Don Giovanni's invitation to dinner.

Delacroix on Mozart and Don Giovanni:

[Mozart was] 'undoubtedly the creator. . . of art carried to its highest point, beyond which no further perfection is possible', [1]

[On Don Giovanni] 'What an admirable fusion of elegance, expression, buffoonery, terror, tenderness, irony, each in just measure.'[2]

[1] A. Joubin, ed.: Journal d'Eugè Delacroix, Paris [1950], I, pp.346-47

[2] ibid., pp.185, 186-87

See also:

Johnson, Lee. 'The Last Scene of "Don Giovanni" ': A Newly Discovered Delacroix. The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138, No. 1122 (Sep., 1996), pp. 605-607

Judd, Percy. Delacroix on Music. Music and Letters Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 1962), pp. 340-344


  1. Thanks for posting--very interesting.

    Delacroix sounds like he wasn't afraid to state his opinions. One of the great quotes of all time is his judgment of Jean Ingres: "The complete expression of an incomplete intellect."

  2. Wow! That's really a first class put-down! It's up there with Mencken calling W.J. Bryan "one of the most tragic asses in American history."

  3. Great Mencken quote, although I think that some people since the time of WJ Bryan would probably usurp that honor!

    Thanks for reminding me about Mencken--he has someting wonderful to say about almost everything.