Painting Inspired by Greek War of Independence at Bonhams 19th Century Art Sale
A Study of Two Greeks by French Romantic Master Delacroix

The Greek War of Independence, which started in 1821 and culminated in victory for Greece in 1830, galvanised public opinion across Europe in the same kind of way that the Spanish Civil War was to do in the 20th century. Some people, most famously the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Lord Byron, took up arms in the Greek cause. Although the philhellenism that swept Europe rarely lead to such direct action, it did influence a generation of writers and artists including the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix. A Study of Two Greeks by Delacroix features in Bonhams live behind closed doors 19th Century and British Impressionist Art sale in London on Wednesday 3 June. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Bonhams Head of 19th Century and British Impressionist Art, Charles O'Brien said: "A Study of Two Greeks was painted at a time when Delacroix, like many of his contemporaries, was moved and inspired by the struggle of the Greek people to liberate themselves from the grip of the Ottoman Empire. The painter's preoccupation with the issue culminated in his major Salon exhibit of 1824, Scenes from the Massacres at Chios, a vast painting which Delacroix had worked on for several years which depicts an atrocity of 1822, when Ottoman forces slaughtered and enslaved thousands of Greeks."

A Study of Two Greeks will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Numérique of Eugène Delacroix, currently in preparation.

The sale will be a live 'behind-closed-doors' auction. An auctioneer will be present on the rostrum, and bids will be accepted in the following formats: online, on the phone, or by leaving an absentee bid. All bidding will be done remotely in accordance with the latest government guidelines.


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