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Delacroix borrowed the plot for his famous Rook from the legendary Divine Comedy. Thanks to this work, the artist was marked by the first great achievement in his 24 years. The name of the canvas already contains a link to the symbolism of the written image. After all, even in ancient ancestors, a boat, as a rule, was associated with a life beginning. In addition, on the boat they made movements to another world, etc.
The image of the boat for many centuries was considered a symbolic image of Christianity and in particular the church, in the picturesque performance of French romantic artists acquires an updated symbolic meaning.
On this canvas, the long-defined Delacroix creative credo is clearly traced. The essence of which was the worship of the legendary masters of the word Dante and Virgil. At that time they were considered symbols of the cultural heritage of not only their eras.
The images of sinners who so earnestly cling to the side of the boat in the hope of salvation are based on impressions of Michelangelo's sculpture “The Night”. And from the traditionally baroque influence in the picture, the tragic sound of the "Raft of the Medusa" is clearly traced.
Among the condemned sinners who are trying to get into the boat, some show maximum bitterness, incredible malice, while others, weakened by the hard struggle for the opportunity to get into the boat, have exhausted all their strength and surrendered to the power of the waves. According to the artist himself, he was best able to write the image of a sinner, who almost fell into the boat, which is in the background. And it was written, as can be seen from the d entries in the diary, incredibly quickly and with great inspiration, while reading Dante's poetry. The picturesque genius of Delacroix breathed new vitality into a classic literary plot. Not finally getting rid of the classical ideal, the author writes a truly romantic canvas, embodying the cruel world of unbridled power born in his imagination.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo Pictures