Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (; 26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
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“The studio has become the crucible where human genius at the apogee of its development brings back to question not only that which is, but creates anew a fantastic and conventional nature which our weak minds, impotent to harmonize it with existing things, adopt by preference, because the miserable work is our own.”
—Eugène Delacroix (17981863)