Founded by friends and admirers of Delacroix, including Matisse, Denis and Signac, this national museum, rich in the works of its master, is "decidedly charming", in the artist's own words.
Originally the artist’s home, becoming a museum after his death, the museum collection bears witness to the life of the artist, while paying homage to him through the works on display, including Mary Magdalen in the Wilderness.
The history of the museum told by the Hôtel des Saints Pères
In 1857, Eugène Delacroix, faced with his advanced age, decided to move closer to the Church of Saint-Eustache in order to be able to follow more easily the project of the decoration of the chapel, for which he had been commissioned. He therefore moved to number 6 of the Rue de Fürstenberg and, as stated in his diary, he did not regret it: " My accommodation is decidedly charming (...). The view of my little garden and the laughing aspect of my studio always give me a feeling of pleasure. He remained there until his death, which occurred six years later. Following his death, plans were made to destroy his studio.
Various great artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Signac, presided over by the painter Maurice Denis, mobilised and created the Société des Amis d'Eugène Delacroix, to block the destruction of the building and perpetuate Delacroix's works. In the end, the decision to demolish the building was abandoned and the architectural ensemble was put up for sale. The company sold all of the artist's work to the national museums and was thus able to buy the studio, the private garden and Delacroix's flat. It then donated it to the State, which transformed it into a national museum in 1971. Today, the complex, an 8-minute walk from the Hôtel des Saints Pères, is listed as a Historic Monument.
The museum collections
The Musée national Eugène Delacroix, which has been attached to the Louvre since 2004, has a rich collection of works by the artist. It includes paintings such as The Magdalene in the Desert, celebrated by Baudelaire: " so supernaturally beautiful that one does not know whether she is haloed by death or embellished by the swoons of divine love ", or the painting Romeo and Juliet in front of the Capulets' tomb. The museum also houses his drawings, which served as the basis for the paintings in the Church of Saint-Sulpice.