On Delacroix's Liberty on the Barricades

A guest lecture by Ralph Ubl.

When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: S.B. Museum of Art, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara

Cost: Free

Age limit: Not available

Categories: Event


Eugène Delacroix welcomed the July Revolution of 1830, but was very happy that with the accession to the throne of Louis Philippe d'Orleans the political situation was stabilized again. He showed no political sympathy for the advocates of a republic, who wanted to continue the revolution, or for the craftsmen and laborers who had surely hoped for more to come out of their victorious struggle in the streets of Paris than a new dynasty. With his monumental Liberty Leading the People (or Liberty on the Barricades) Delacroix created a painting that should become the image of revolution par excellence. What we are dealing with here is a surprising situation: the citizen feared revolution while the artist celebrated its sublime beauty.

In his lecture, Ralph Ubl will argue that Liberty Leading the People offers a Romantic interpretation of political conflict. Delacroix understood the revolutionary barricade as a site where social reality is transformed by virtue of the power of images.

Ralph Ubl is a professor of modern art at the University of Basel and visiting professor at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has published extensively on French and German art of the 19th and 20th century. An American translation of his book on Max Ernst (Munich 2004) will be published in 2012. Currently he is finishing a book on Eugène Delacroix.

Mary Craig Auditorium: free for SBMA Members, free with Museum admission (Non-Members).

Phone: 805-963-4364

Event posted Jan. 26, 2012
Last updated Jan. 26, 2012


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