Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was born on April 26, 1798 at Saint-Maurice-en-Chalencon, France. There are reasons to believe that his father was infertile at the time of the conception and that his real father was a friend of the family, Talleyrand, whom the adult Eugène resembled in both appearance and character.
He was trained in the neoclassical style by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, but was strongly influenced by the more colorful and rich style of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and French artist Théodore Géricault whose works introduced romanticism in art. Delacroix' use of expressive color profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionist movement.
In 1822, his first major painting was accepted by the Paris Salon. Delacroix's most influential work came in 1830 with the painting 'Liberty Leading the People'. It serves to show the difference between the romantic style of painting and the neoclassical style. The French government bought the painting but officials soondeemed its glorification of the idea of liberty as too inflammatory and removed it from public view. Nonetheless, Delacroix kept receiving many government commissions.
Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
In 1832, he traveled to Spain and North Africa, a trip that would influence the subject of a great many of his future paintings. Following the Revolution of 1848 that saw the end of the reign of King Louis Philippe, Delacroix's painting 'Liberty Leading the People', was finally put on display by the newly elected President Napoleon. Today, it is visible in the Louvre museum.
Eugene Delacroix died on August 13, 1863 in Paris and was interred there in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.