"The Death of Sardanapal" - an image of pagan death
In bliss and luxury, he behaved ugly in histhe life of the legendary king of Assyria and Nineveh Sardanapal. This happened in the seventh century BC. e. Medes, the ancient Indo-European people, besieged his capital for two years. Seeing that he could not stand more siege and die, the king decided that the enemies should not get anything. What does he want to do? Very simple. He himself will take poison, and everything else is ordered to be burned.
The death of Sardanapal is the apotheosis of the paganperception of the world. Pagan rites among all peoples were approximately the same. The lord dies, and after him, wives, concubines, horses, servants, utensils must follow in the underground kingdom so that he leads, after death, an equally brilliant existence.
The history of the painting by Eugene Delacroix
Six years after the publication of Byrondrama "Sardanapal" Eugene Delacroix creates in 1827 a grandiose (392 x 496 cm) canvas "The Death of Sardanapal". According to legend, the tyrant was the king of Nineveh and Assyria. He ruled Babylon (otherwise Bab El, which in all Semitic languages means "Gate of God") at the request of his brother Ashurbanipal. Episode, when the besieged city is about to fall, decided to write a romantic Delacroix.
What is depicted on the canvas
A brutal and ruthless tyrant who,not to suffer torment, has already decided to take poison, wrote the artist, who before traveled to the East and imbued with the vision of this world. The painter brought to the fore a mass murder of naked women, horses, eunuchs. All this action takes place in a palace in which people, animals, royal clothes, gold and silver should burn. The death of Sardanapal must be remembered in the centuries.There is no place for pity in it. Only the satrap is serene, all the other characters wriggle in agony and attempts at resistance. But the funeral pyre is already ready (brushwood is prepared, and it can be seen at the top right). In it, Mirra's beloved concubine will perish. She is given the great honor - her ash is mixed with the ashes of the lord. Such a grand must be the death of Sardanapal according to his own decision.
A bright and impressive actionto depict Delacroix. Critics of his time rejected the painting "The Death of Sardanapal." The description of the picture is given above. They did not like the cruelty and rejection of the beautiful, which then triumphed on the canvases of Engr. Appreciated it properly only by V. Hugo and later by S. Baudelaire.
The whole action develops along the illuminated diagonal from top to bottom from left to right. The composition consists of many figures.The main place is occupied by the scarlet bed withher in perfect tranquility by a despot. He almost touches the head of an elephant with broken tusks. Near the right and left are the bodies of dead women. Diagonal ends with the preparation for the death of a naked concubine, to which a muscular slave bent his hands behind his back. He had already carried a dagger. To the left of this scene a black slave prepares for the death of a staggering, frightened, beautiful horse with a clever and beautiful face."The death of Sardanapal" is furnished with a series of murders. Below to the right you can see a man who unsuccessfully pleads with the king for pity. At the top right, a person prefers to hang himself, and not painfully die from burns. The tyrant is absolutely calm. He was already brought on a tray in a beautiful pitcher of poison and a bowl for him. He will accept it at any time. The composition lives and moves, gives realism to the whole image: the fear of slaves, the passivity of the tsar, the deadly horror emanating from the executioners.
Contrast of light and color
The picture is dominated by the red color of fire and blood. The background is dark, in comparison with the main scarlet and light, flooding the central diagonal, on which numerous female bodies are white. Everything is framed with gold scattered precious utensils. The warm coloring of the picture emphasizes the proximity of the fire that threatens everyone. This is what the "Death of Sardanapal" looks like on closer examination. The analysis of the picture says that the extinction of life is the driving force of the work. The picture was perceived ambiguously.
The most romantic canvas by E. Delacroix "The Death of Sardanapal" was for a long time forgotten and was acquired by the Louvre only in 1921.