Orphan Girl at the Cemetery Eugene Delacroix Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The French painter, Eugene Delacroix created the Orphan Girl at the Cemetery in 1824.

The painting in its native French is known as, Jeune orpheline au cimetière.

Many in the art world actually believe that this painting was used as preparation for what he considered as his later masterpiece, that of Massacre at Chios. However, this painting is also considered to be one of Delacroix's greatest works.

Orphan Girl at the Cemetery, features the image of a young girl who is looking upwards towards the sky.

We see her tear soaked eyes and we wonder what she is thinking.

The pairing evokes in the observer such emotions as sorrow, fear and a great sense of wanting to reach into the painting and console this young, grieving girl.

The main focus of the image is that of the grieving girl.

However, the emotions that are evoked from observing her, are also present in the scenery that surrounds her.

The sky is painted a dismal looking colour that represents despair and long fullness. The ground that surrounds her also looks to be abandoned and in disrepair.

There is a great sense of vulnerability to the entire painting. This is shown in the desolate environment in which the young girl stands, as well as in the fact that she appears to be all alone in the world.

The way in which she is looking towards the broken sky together with the ragged clothes that she wears, all help to give the impression that she has suffered some kind of tragedy. Her left profile has been painted in shadow and he dress hangs loosely from her shoulder. She is suffering and we wonder if she is searching for an unknown person who can help her in this time of need.

The use of somber looking colours are of great importance in Delacroix's Orphan Girl at the Cemetery. The use of colour and how it is represented on canvas was one of Delacroix's great skills, and what he was most famously praised for, that of evoking emotions from pure colour.