It isn’t one of the biggest or most famous museums in Paris, but Musée Delacroix is definitely well worth a visit. It is located in the luxurious 6th arrondissement of Paris, in the former apartment/townhouse that was famed French artist Eugene Delacroix’s home.
The entrance to the museum is in the corner of a quiet leafy square, that is very much still surrounded by private apartments. It was once a personal residence, and much of the character and layout remains.
From the charming small rooms to stairs to the separate studio and private garden, you can imagine the great artist working away, taking inspiration from his surroundings.
The best part of the residence is indeed its back gardens. It is a rather sprawling space, hidden behind from the street by a large wall and a haven in the middle of busy Paris.
Eugene Delacroix moved here in 1857 because he had been commissioned to decorate the nearby Saint Sulpice church, and found his previous residence a little too far. His commission would last several years, where he painted the decor for the chapel walls, ceiling and foundations between 1854 and 1861.
The multi-level home, which is about an 8 minute walk away from Saint-Sulphice. He also painted some of the walls of the nearby Assemblée Nationale, which is about a 20 minute walk away.
This became his sanctuary with a private garden and his studio, and Delacroix lived here contentedly until his death in 1863.
History of the museum
In the 1920s, in order to save the home of this great artist, several Delacroix’s friends got together to turn it into a museum. The Society of Friends of Eugène Delacroix included other famous names like Henri Matisse, Paul Signac, Édouard Vuillard, and George Desvallières.
It became a national museum in the 1970s. It was finally attached to the Louvre in 2004, who held many of the Delacroix’s works, and agreed to move many of his make an exhibition of his smaller works and sculptures here, to give the artist his due.
One of the most famous paintings in France is the Liberty leading the way by Eugène Delacroix.
The painting is not on display at Musée Delacroix, it is too important for that, but rather at the Louvre Museum. It shows a partially clothed Marianne, the symbol of France, leading the people towards a revolution.
The revolution in question is not the 1789 French Revolution, but the the July Revolution of 1830. Delacroix also has several other works hanging in the Louvre such as A Young Tiger Playing with its Mother and The Duke of Morny’s Apartment.
In Musée Delacroix, other smaller works of the artist are displayed. Delacroix was quite prolific and there is everything from religious pieces to sculptures, and individual portraits as well as historical scenes. Delacroix also owned several pieces from his circle of friends, and these are displayed here as well.
The museum regularly has temporary exhibitions and other events held on the premises. You can book your skip-the-line tickets here.
If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about what to do in Paris. A bientôt!