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States of (un)dress

Delacroix and clothing
3 july 2024 - 3 february 2025


With its new presentation, opening to the public on 3 July, the Musée Delacroix takes a new look at the artist’s works: how are Delacroix’s human subjects, real or fictional, dressed? What is the role of clothing or its absence in depicting the subject? Did Delacroix seek to paint specific costumes appropriate to an era?

Studying these clothes, which might seem secondary but are in fact extremely present in the museum collection’s works, is another way of illuminating the artist’s sources of inspiration and his creative process. 
Many works also show his particular interest in the pictorial treatment of textiles in general, their colours and draping, the golden embroidery, the patterns, and more.

In Delacroix’s bedroom, the newly acquired lithograph Hercules Leaning on a Column, a gift of the Société des Amis of the museum, announces the theme of the depiction of the human body, developed by a series of drawings, paintings, prints and decorative objects. Both a reference to classical works and a means of studying anatomy in order to portray it, the nude was a required subject for an artist like Eugène Delacroix. He could draw inspiration from models posing for him, photography, or even his own imagination. He made particular use in his works of the expressivity of bodies in motion, whether nude or clothed.

In 1857, Eugène Delacroix wrote in a notebook: ‘How could a feeling for the beautiful and suitable not be perverted in societies where fashion rules as a despot, where the shape of a hat, divine three weeks ago, is considered horrible and abominable today?’

And yet, although Delacroix scorned fashion, he gave great importance to the treatment of clothing in his portraits: printed or embroidered patterns, collars, waistcoats... Above all, he brought out with a vibrant pictorial touch the varied textures of different textiles. In a self-portrait, he depicts himself as a dandy, in a green tartan waistcoat of which he was particularly fond. A large scarf was one of his signature accessories. In the 19th century, men’s suiting was often black, with a silhouette influenced by English fashions.

The drawing room of Delacroix’s apartment showcases his depiction of period costumes. Delacroix sought to dress his characters, such as Richelieu or Vercingetorix, in the clothing of their era, finding models in the art of the past, in engravings or in theatre.

His interest in the Orient was expressed by the textiles he brought back from Morocco, but also by engraved reproductions: gold-embroidered jackets, turbans, decorative accessories or light-reflecting objects featured in his studio.

Finally, many works show costumes of no specific period, sometimes using a drapery that is classically inspired but more fluid and often coloured.

This new presentation of the collections is accompanied by workshops, guided tours, events and walking tours in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood.


View the complete program in French on

samedis 13 juillet, 17 août, 14 septembre, 5 et 12 octobre, 16 novembre, 14 décembre à 11h
[color=#000000]Visite guidée du musée avec un conférencier[/color]

Tous les jours, à 10h30 et 15h30
À la découverte de l’atelier 
Une rencontre avec un médiateur du musée pour découvrir l’atelier d’Eugène Delacroix

Dimanches 21 juillet, 4 août, 8 septembre et 13 octobre, à 11h30
Laissez-vous guider par Delacroix
Promenade sur les pas de Delacroix dans le quartier de Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Mercredi 23 octobre, à 14h30
Visite familles
Visite guidée à partir de 8 ans


Mercredis 11 septembre, 2 octobre et 11 décembre, à 10h
Visite contée pour les tout-petits
pour éveiller les sens des tout-petits de 0 à 3 ans


Mercredi 10 juillet et samedi 7 septembre à 14h30
Atelier palette de poche,  à partir de 8 ans
Recréer la palette de Delacroix en miniature

Lundis 21 et 28 octobre, 23 et 30 décembre à11h
Habille-moi une œuvre
Dessiner les vêtements à colorier ou en tissu
À partir de 6 ans

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
Du 21 au 22 septembre

Art Basel Paris
À partir du 18 octobre

À partir du 30 octobre


Mercredi 25 septembre à 18h30
Présentation « Nu comme habillé. Delacroix et le vêtement »
par Claire Bessède, directrice du musée Delacroix


Ingres and Delacroix: Artists’ Objects will be shown at the Musée Ingres Bourdelle in Montauban, in a site-specific adaptation, from 11 July to 10 November 2024.
Exhibition organised by the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix - Établissement Public du Musée du Louvre and the Musée Ingres Bourdelle - Ville de Montauban


July and august: Saturdays 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. and mondays 10:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M. 
A watercolour painter will accompany you through the garden to guide you in creating your own work in watercolour. Materials are supplied by the museum but you may also bring your own.

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