Eugène Delacroix

Othello and Desdemona

c. 1847-1849
Almost as a refuge from large mural commissions, Delacroix speculatively made smaller paintings for private collectors, allowing him to paint when he wanted. The tonality of this work is in part due to his having worked by lamplight. The subject matter is typical of the artist, who favoured scenes of dramatic tension and admired Shakespeare. Here, Othello enters his marriage chamber – his first night with his new wife Desdemona. In a trance-like state after being wrongly convinced of Desdemona’s infidelity, he will soon murder her – smothering her with the pillow on which she rests. Frame: carved and gilded wood. Italy(?) mid-18th century
Title
Othello and Desdemona
Date
c. 1847-1849
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
50.8 x 62.2 cm
Nationality
French
Credit line
Purchased 1968
Accession number
15700