How Sketches Shaped the Soul of Romantic-Era Art

How Sketches Shaped the Soul of Romantic-Era Art

With a collection of approximately 80 sketches, an exhibition entitled ‘Painted Sketches of the Romantic Period: Delacroix, Cogniet, Scheffer,’ a Parisian museum is revealing a unique side of romantic art. This side illustrates the complexity of the artistic process that most spectators never stop to consider.

This artistic process involves everything from the beginning sketches of an idea to sketched variants of the same painting. Sometimes the process ends with a masterpiece, but other times it is only the sketches that remain, as the work goes uncompleted. Guests staying at the Hôtel de la Tour Maubourg can discover all of the steps that go into creating a painting at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, a Parisian museum dedicated not only to romantic art but also the romantic era in general.

The exhibition at the Musée de la Vie Romantique runs from September 17, 2013 until February 2, 2014. Focusing on romantic artists from the beginning of the 19th century, the ‘Painted Sketches of the Romantic Period’ shows how sketches when beyond the simple pencil outlines that one might think of. These preliminary works could almost be considered as oeuvres themselves, although most represent just one step towards the final painting.

Although many modern art movements have emphasized spontaneous created, the Romantic period was complex, sensible and masterful — which meant that these artists needed to consider every element of their works. From the celebrated Delacroix to landscape artists such as Valenciennes, visitors can discover how Romantic works were crafted at the Musée de la Vie Romantique until next February.