About this artwork

According to Delacroix’s journal, he worked on this painting in July 1847 while staying at his small house in Champrosay, just outside Paris. Delacroix had visited North Africa in 1832, and the scenes that this trip had exposed him to were to have a lasting influence on his work. There are numerous notes regarding draught players in his African journal. From a distance of over a decade, Delacroix felt that he was more able to capture the poetic aspect of exotic subjects, and not be distracted by a desire to attain absolute accuracy, which he believed was ultimately untruthful. A year after this was painted it was reproduced as a print, but with the subject altered. The setting was given as Jerusalem, and the water carrier was described as Rebecca returning from the well.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Arabs Playing Chess
  • date created:
    1847 - 1849
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    46.00 x 55.00 cm (framed: 71.40 x 80.20 x 10.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1957
  • accession number:
    NG 2190
  • gallery:
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Eugene Delacroix

Eugene Delacroix