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Gallery Text

In the mid-1850s, Delacroix returned to themes he had treated thirty years earlier, though with an important difference. Rather than carefully distinguish literary from historical and topical subjects, he conflated them, as in this instance. Here, he draws on Byron’s description of the giaour (a Turkish slur for non-Muslims) overcoming the Turkish pasha in his poem “The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale” (1813). To a contemporary audience, the composition could have appeared to be an episode from the Greek War of Independence (1821–32), a romantic cause célèbre that had inspired two of Delacroix’s large canvases of the 1820s. The result is a nostalgic invention that appealed to mid-century French orientalist fantasies.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, French (Charenton Saint-Maurice France 1798 - 1863 Paris France)
A Turk Surrenders to a Greek Horseman
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2200, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Emergence of Romanticism in Early Nineteenth-Century France
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
80 x 64.1 cm (31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in.)
framed: 107.3 x 90.8 x 11.4 cm (42 1/4 x 35 3/4 x 4 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l.: Eug. Delacroix 1856
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, sold; to [Tedesco Frères, Paris, April 1856]. Léon Fraissinet, Marseille, by 1873. Baron de Beurnonville. E. Secrétan, by 1855, sold [his sale, Christie's, London, July 12, 1889, no. 14]; to [Boussod, Valadon et Cie, Paris], sold; to Isidore Montaignac, October 4, 1890. George I. Seney, New York, sold; to [Broussod, Valadon et Cie, Paris, March 9, 1892], sold; to F. L. Ames, New York, March 24, 1892. Louis Sarlin, Paris, by 1910, sold [through his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, March 2, 1918, no. 28], sold; to Herman Heilbuth, Copenhagen, sold [probably on his behalf by Winkel and Magnusson, Copenhagen (?)]. Hodebert, Paris, by 1929. Renou, by 1930. Grenville L. Winthrop [through Martin Birnbaum], November 30, 1930, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Adolphe Moreau, Eugene Delacroix et son oeuvre (Paris, 1873), p. 244, no. 1

Alfred Robaut, L'Oeuvre complète de Eugène Delacroix, Chavanay Freres (Paris, France, 1885), no. 1293

Catalogue de 17 Tableaux Anciens... de la Collection Secrétan, auct. cat., Christie's, London (London, England, July 13, 1889), no. 14, repr.

Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, Delacroix reconte par lui-même, Henri Laurens (Paris, France, 1916), vol. II, p. 166, repr. fig. 384

Catalogue des Tableaux Modernes... composant la Collection Louis Sarlin, auct. cat., Galerie Georges Petit (London, England, March 2, 1918), no. 28, repr.

Raymond Escholier, Delacroix, peintre, graveur, écrivain, Henri Floury (Paris, France, 1926 - 1929), vol. III, repr. opposite p. 230

René Huyghe, "L'Exposition Delacroix au Musée du Louvre", Bulletin des Musées de France (June 1930), vol. II, no. 6, pp. 117-134

Paul Jamot, Centenaire du Romantisme: Exposition Eugène Delacroix, exh. cat., Musée du Louvre (Paris, France, 1930), no. 170, pp. 101-102

Louis Hourticq, Delacroix: l'oeuvre du maitre, Hachette (Paris, France, 1930), repr. p. 168

Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Journal de Eugène Delacroix, ed. André Joubain, Plon (Paris, France, 1932), vol. II, pp. 210, 442

Michel Florisoone, Delacroix, Braun et Cie (Paris, France, 1938), repr.

Chinese Sculpture, Bronzes, Jades, Paintings and Drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art; selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1943), p. 10

Otto Benesch, "The Winthrop Collection: From Neo-Classic to Romanticism; David, Ingres, Géricault", Art News (January 1-14, 1944), vol. 42, no. 16, pp. 9-10, 20-21, 32, p. 32

Between the Empires: Géricault, Delacroix, Chassériau, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), p. 9

Maria Luisa Saco, "Joyas del arte en los museos Norteamericanos", Cultura Peruana (Lima, Peru, 1957), vol. XVII, no. 105, repr.

Beatrice Farwell, "Sources for Delacroix' 'Death of Sardanapalus' ", The Art Bulletin, College Art Association of America (March 1958), vol. XL, no. 1, pp. 66, no. 3

S. Lane Faison, Jr., A Guide to the Art Museums of New England, Harcourt, Brace and Co. (New York, 1958), p. 115, repr. as fig. 9

Martin Birnbaum, The Last Romantic (New York, NY, 1960), p. 200

Philippe Lannes de Montebello, "The Problem of Composition in Eugene Delacroix's Small Canvases" (Thesis, Harvard University?, 1961), Unpublished, p. 11, 1-5

Camille Bernard, "Some Aspects of Delacroix's Orientalism", The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH, April 1971), p. 126, repr.

Frank Anderson Trapp, The Attainment of Delacroix, The Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD and London, England, 1971), pps. 120, 122, repr. in b/w fig. 62

Lee Johnson, The Paintings of Eugene Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue, 1816-1831, The Clarendon Press (Oxford & New York, 1981), vol. I, p. 105; vol. 3, p. 142, no. 323

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 205, p. 180, ill.

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 73, color plate; pp. 105, 230, repr. b/w cat. no. 291

Nadia Tscherny and Guy Stair Sainty, Romance and Chivalry: History and Literature Reflected in Early Nineteenth-Century French Painting, exh. cat., Mathiesen Fine Art Ltd / Stair Sainty Matthiesen Inc. (London, England and New York, NY, 1996), p. 47, fig. 28a

Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997

Chikashi Kitazaki and Mina Oya, ed., Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Ueno, 2002), pp. 94-95, cat. #14, color repr.

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), no. 31, pp. 112-113, repr. in color

Christopher Riopelle, Harvard's Winthrop Collection: Nineteenth-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, exh. cat., National Gallery Company Limited (London, 2003), p. 32, cat. 19, ill.

Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 31, pp. 118-119, repr. in color

Gregoire Hallé, Un duel romantique: 'Le Giaour' de Lord Byron par Delacroix, exh. cat., ed. Claisse Bessède (Paris, 2020), pp. 22, 24, fig. 9

Exhibition History

Exposition de chef-d'oeuvre de l'ecole française: vingt peintres du xixe siècle, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 05/02/1910 - 05/31/1910

Exposition Eugène Delacroix: Peintures, aquarelles, pastels, dessins, gravures, documents, Musée du Louvre, Paris Cedex 01, 06/01/1930 - 09/30/1930

Chinese sculpture, bronzes, jades, paintings and drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art : selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/01/1943 - 02/28/1944

Between the Empires: Géricault, Delacroix, Chasseriau--Painters of the Romantic Movement, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/30/1946 - 06/01/1946

Delacroix in New England Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/15/1955 - 11/26/1955

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985

Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 09/14/2002 - 12/08/2002

A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, 03/15/2003 - 05/26/2003; National Gallery, London, 06/25/2003 - 09/14/2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004

For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004

Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

Modern Art and Modernity, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 2200 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

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Related Works

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