"Inspired by Morocco, Delacroix, in turn, inspired Moroccan artists," said the President of the Louvre Museum.
Rabat – On Wednesday, June 19, in Paris, the President of the Louvre Museum Jean-Luc Martinez and the chairman of Morocco’s National Museums Foundation (FNM) Mehdi Qotbi signed an agreement stating that the works of French artist Eugene Delacroix will come to Rabat.
The exhibition of Eugene Delacroix’s works will be held at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat in spring 2020, according to the agreement.
An iconic artist heavily influenced by Morocco
Eugene Delacroix, born in 1798 in Paris, is known for being one of the founding fathers of French romanticism. His illustrious artistic career was particularly marked by a diplomatic mission to Morocco in 1832, which the upcoming exhibition will focus on.
The exhibition will not only feature Delacroix’s paintings during his mission but also objects he brought back to Europe, to show the Morocco Delacroix “so dreamed of,” Martinez told MAP.
Delacroix’s diplomatic mission came just after France invaded Algeria, and was seeking to form good relations with Morocco, which was ruled by Sultan Moulay Abderrahman at the time.
Although he was there for diplomatic reasons, Delacroix’s painting flourished during his 6 month trip to Morocco. He returned to France with eight albums of drawings and annotated sketches, which are now some of his most famous works.
Some of his most famous works include “The Jewish Wedding in Morocco,” and “Arab Horses Fighting in a Stable,” “The Lion Hunt,” “The Fanatics of Tangiers,” as well as a portrait of the Sultan.
“The images of Morocco stuck with Delacroix,” said Martinez at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by the director of the Eugene Delacroix Museum, Claire Bessede.
“Inspired by Morocco, Delacroix, in turn, inspired Moroccan artists,” Martinez added. He also announced that a symposium will be held before the exhibition in collaboration with Morocco’s Royal Academy to examine this two-way influence further.
The promise of further Louvre-FNM collaboration
For his part, the chairman of Morocco’s National Museums Foundation (FNM) Mehdi Qotbi thanked the Louvre for its support and collaboration, recalling that the first ever convention signed by the FNM was with the Louvre in 2014. “It is thanks to this prestigious institution that we have been able to catalog the works we have,” said Qotbi.
Wednesday’s agreement also promised the strengthening of cooperation between the Louvre Museum and the FNM, particularly on scientific and technical issues, as well as on staff training.
The 2014 collaboration led to the Louvre hosting its “Medieval Morocco: An Empire from Africa to Spain” exhibition. The exhibit focuses on Morocco from the 11th to 14th centuries, a time when “the western Islamic world was at the height of its glory, as much in terms of its artistic production as its place in history.”