The Frick Collection
The West Gallery of The Frick Collection
Special Exhibition

Watteau to Degas: French Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection
October 6, 2009, through January 10, 2010

Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863)
Study of a Wild Feline Facing Left and
Study of a Wild Feline Facing Right
c. 1847
Pen and brown ink

In this pair of rapid sketches, the coiled energy of the panthers is perfectly expressed through the verve of Delacroix’s ductile line. Sweeping pen strokes establish the stalking animals’ silhouettes, while broad, energetic parallel hatching suggests their rippling muscles and shadows. The artist described his method of drawing in broken outlines as “coloristic” — an approach that runs counter to the neoclassicist’s pure, even line. Wild felines, a favorite Romantic motif, were of lifelong interest to Delacroix.