Hamlet before the body of Polonius, 1855 (oil on canvas), Delacroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugene (1798-1863) / Musee des Beaux-Arts, Reims, France / Peter Willi / The Bridgeman Art Library
Painter Eugene Delacroix (1798 – 1863) miraculously survived five brushes with death to become the leader of the French Romantic movement. Primarily self-educated, Delacroix learned to paint by copying renowned artworks in the Louvre. Later, his groundbreaking use of color distinguished his dramatic interpretations of scenes from literature, mythology, religion, politics and history. He also painted several monumental murals for a French palace and two museums. Delacroix created a remarkable 9,000 artworks during his life, deeply inspiring Van Gogh, Renoir and Seurat.