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Paul Delaroche. The Young Martyr. (1853). 




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Paul Delaroche. The Young Martyr. (1853). 

Paul Delaroche (1797 - 1856) is located between the classicism and the romanticism. It is formed at the school of Beautiful arts and at Louis Etienne Watelet then becomes the pupil of Antoine-Jean Gros. First of all Peintre of historical scenes it draws his topics in the English history (the Death of Elisabeth), (Torment of Jane Grey) and French (dying Mazarin), (the Assassination of the duke of Guise). He is especially known 
to contrary David in several tables. In Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, the Emperor is vault, tired, it passes the collar on the back of a mule. This table is opposed to the vision of David or the Emperor crosses the Great Saint Bernard triumphing a such ancient hero raising the arm and making pull up his horse. Even in simpler representations and the portraits of the emperor the 2 artists do not have the same vision of the sovereign nor of the Delaroche empire being close to July monarchy. Bonaparte is softened and paunchy on a chair the air lost at Delaroche whereas in the painting of David the Emperor is always glorified. The picture represents a Christian woman, pier with the river by Romans not to have abjured, which is discovered by other believers. Marked by the death of his wife, Delaroche makes an allegory of the sacrifice of the young girl. It treats here a expensive topic with romantic that of the death of Ophelia, which was often represented by the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Le point de vue du spectateur se situe au niveau de la ligne d’horizon à l’arrière plan.

The body of the young woman is on the lower tension field. 
On the 2 natural points of interest. On one 3rd point in top on the left the prow of the boat.

The foreground, which represents young martyrdom floating in water, is in full light. The background is in the half-light. The border between shade and light is in the middle of the picture.

A great majority of guiding lines go towards the right, the future, and upwards. The painter expresses here the idea of redemption and resurrection. Painting is built on the ascending diagonal.
On discerne la proue de la barque amarrée au rivage, ceci laisse bien entendu supposer, avec les liens posés sur les mains, que la jeune fille a été noyée. 
The light and the whiteness of the face strike us. The top of the body of the young woman is violently lit by the top. However the scene is night, with the background of stars shine in the sky. The eyes are closed. The presence of the halo sanctifies and devotes the victim.
With the background the characters who discover the scene are horrified. One can suppose that they are the parents of the victim.
La lumière est très vive sur un petit espace, elle se concentre sur le visage de la jeune fille. Il ne peut pas s’agir d’une lumière normale et naturelle mais d’une lumière surnaturelle. 
Colors: 
Harmonize and contrasts. 
Contrasts between cold and hot colors. 
Contrasts between complementary.
Similar Painting.
John Everett Millais. (1829 - 1896). Ophelia. (1852). 
Ophelia is a heroin of the tragedy in 5 acts, Hamlet, of William Shakespeare written in 1601. Ophelia is in love with Hamlet but this romantic idyll turns badly. Hamlet to simulate the madness rejects it and by accident keep silent her father Polonius. Ophelia becomes insane and drowns in a river. The tragic destiny of Ophelia inspired many painters. Waterhouse represented Ophelia 3 times. The fabric of Millais represents Ophelia absorbed by a dark water among the flowers and a luxuriant nature.

Alexandre Cabanel. Ophelia. (1883). 
French painter it is one of the academic great painters. He practices the painting of kind, the portrait and historical painting. In the course of time it evolves to romantic topics, which Ophelia. The painting is traditional, very realistic, Ophelia is of face and seems to be given up with its fate in a beam of light.
John William Waterhouse. (1849 - 1917). Ophelia. (1894). Pre-Raphaelite and neo-classic English painter it takes as a starting point the mythology and the literature to represent beautiful young women in bucolic or dreaming attitudes. Very often the death of Ophelae was represented by an young woman at the edge of water gathering flowers. The topic of death is approached indirectly and in way symbolic system.