TUCKED AWAY IN A little courtyard just off the rue de Furstenberg in the 6th arrondissement is the Musée National Eugène Delacroix or the Musée Delacroix as it’s usually known.
The museum is quite an intimate place housed as it is in what was Delacroix’s apartment where he spent the last six years of his life from December 1857 until his death in August 1863. He moved here because it was conveniently close to the Eglise Saint-Sulpice where, despite his failing health, he was working on his frescos in the Chapelle des Saints-Anges.
After Delacroix’s death, the apartment was let to various tenants until it was suggested that the studio should be demolished to make way for a garage. It was then that the Société des Amis d’Eugène Delacroix was formed to prevent the destruction of the studio and to provide for and maintain the premises and to promote Delacroix’s work. In 1952, the building was put up for sale and the society, unable to acquire the premises, gave its collection to the French State in order to secure it and to create a museum which eventually became the Eugène Delacroix National Museum.
Inside the Apartment:
Today, the Museum comprises part of Delacroix’s original apartment, his studio and a garden. We know from his journal and letters that Delacroix was happy here:
“My lodgings are decidedly charming (…). Woke up the next day to see the most delightful sunshine on the houses opposite my window. The view of my little garden and the cheerful appearance of my studio always fill me with pleasure.”
(Journal, December 28, 1857).
Inside the Studio:
Delacroix’s Studio – Inside
The Museum’s collection is displayed in both Delacroix’s apartment and in his studio and it comprises paintings, drawings, lithographs, autograph works, and some personal objects, including some magnificent souvenirs of his trip to Morocco in 1832. Some works by his friends, Paul Huet, Léon Riesener, and Richard Parkes Bonington, are also featured. The collection is regularly added to with new works acquired through the combined efforts of the Louvre and the Société des Amis du Musée Eugène-Delacroix.
Delacroix’s Studio – Inside
I made this visit to the museum on a beautiful summer’s day. There were some other people there as well but I was lucky enough to have the studio and the garden practically to myself. While sitting in the garden I could quite see why Delacroix found this such a delightful place. I walked from the garden up the wooden steps to the near empty studio and I was fascinated by the sounds and the seemingly extra loud click of my camera as I took the photographs for this blog.
The Musée Delacroix really is a delightful place and it’s well worth a visit.
What you need to know …
Musée National Eugène Delacroix : 6 rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris: Tél. : +33 (0)1 44 41 86 50
Getting there :
Métro : Saint-Germain-des-Prés (ligne 4), Mabillon (ligne 10)
Bus : 39, 63, 70, 86, 95, 96
The museum is open daily except Tuesday, 9:30 am to 5 pm.
Full ticket price : €5
Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.