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Eugène Delacroix

Jewish wedding in Morocco

1839

Keep a logbook

For more than twenty years, the painter Eugène Delacroix, considered the figurehead of the French romantic movement, kept a precise diary of his life, his encounters,  of his thoughts and projects. By recording every aspect of his daily life in this way, he built up a reserve of ideas and memories capable of fueling his inspiration even years later.

In 1832, when he was invited to participate in a French diplomatic mission to Morocco, he took with him sketchbooks, brushes and watercolors. On site, for six months, he takes notes on everything around him and makes detailed sketches in color: outfits, customs, architecture, jewelry and objects are the subject of abundant captioned sketches.

utensils are the subject of numerous captioned sketches. From a Jewish wedding  from a house in Tangier to the military exercises of Moroccan horsemen, passing through desert landscapes and the interiors of apartments, nothing escapes his sense of observation. Thanks to these notebooks Delacroix was able, even  years

  later,  make

oriental canvases of a

big  authenticity,

perfectly rendering

account  of the atmosphere-

sphere  colors

and characteristic uses

teristics  of life

in the Maghreb  in the

1830s.

Eugène Delacroix, Sketchbook , 1832

What we can take away:

Human memory has its limits, and even our most promising ideas - the ones we think we are unlikely to forget - eventually get lost. A diary, whatever its form, preserves the thoughts: by going through it a posteriori, we realize that some of them, whose value we had not immediately measured, are in fact formidable sources of inspiration.

Related theme: Creativity
Related topic: Method
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