When Photorealism Meets Delacroix

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Joe Fyfe observes connections between the work of Robert Bechtle and Eugene Delacroix. Bechtle’s work is on view at Gladstone 64, New York through April 21, 2018.

Fyfe writes: “Both Delacroix and Bechtle are representing an ethos, that is, something that an era believes, but not something that is necessarily true. In both cases, this belief suggests the possibility that one can escape to a private moment of freedom, and that it can be purchased. Like all good art, Bechtle’s work maintains the ability to instruct, because it somehow rings true. This is what appealed to Baudelaire about “Les Femmes d’Alger.” Though he admired Delacroix for his imagination, he responded to the reality of a situation that was present within the form of a harem fantasy. Some artists are porous, they cannot help but let in life when they work. This is how Delacroix differed from his contemporaries, stock Orientalists such as Gérôme.”

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