Art: Childlike Monster

"When I was a child," said Eugene Delacroix, "I was a Monster." In time the monster grew a mustache and became famous for his wit, his dandyism and his fierce, flamboyant art, which now fills one-third of the Louvre's 19th Century tier of honor. But Delacroix's leaping, flesh-tearing lions, burning cities, shipwrecks and hard-riding Moors suggest that, being a true child of his age, he never quite outgrew his childhood. According to one of the painter's closest friends, Poet Charles Baudelaire (who also gave life quite a Peter Panning), savagery was "the most precious part of [Delacroix's] soul, the part...

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