Liberty Leading the People, by Eugene Delacroix (1798 - 1863), is one of the most prized possessions of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, partly because it depicts the French people bravely rising up against their government in the three-day July Revolution of 1830. In the painting, the bare-breasted symbol of freedom, Liberty, carries the flag of the revolution in one hand and a musket in the other. The painting shows the sacrifice of people of all ages and social classes. A little boy fearlessly marches forward carrying two pistols, while an upper-class gentleman in a top hat holds a rifle. Crowds of people with muskets and swords follow Liberty as she climbs over those who have died."
Liberty Leading the People was made in response to the political upheaval that would result in the overthrow of the reigning monarch, Charles X. This work was begun in October 1830. "I have undertaken a modern subject, a barricade ... so that, if I did not win for my country, I will at least be painting for it... .," wrote Eugene Delacroix, on the 18th of that month, to his brother, the general, in an unpublished letter. And, on December 6, he announced to his friend Guillemardet, "I have finished my picture, or almost...".
It has been alleged that the man in the high hat is actually Delacroix, although Alexandre Dumas, in a lecture given on December 10, 1864, denied that the artist had participated in any active way in the events of July, 1830.
A woman personifying the concept and the goddess of Liberty (Libertas) leads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution - the tricolor flag which is still France's flag today - in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne
These matte, museum-quality posters are printed on durable, archival paper.
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