DELACROIX
Faust
GOETHE

Motte and Sautelet, Paris 1828
In 1828, Eugene Delacroix created lithographs for the play Faust  by Goethe.  Published as a book, it is considered by some to be the first Modern Illustrated Book because its approximate edition of three hundred copies is known and  part of the edition contained an innovation, the lithographs were printed on different colors of paper. Lithography had recently come into its own and Delacroix created large, bold, black images to illustrate Faust.  The illustrations shocked the Parisian public and it received a hostile reception.

Goethe, a contemporary of Delacroix, never met him but declared that the images were an amazingly close interpretation of his own concept of the characters in his play and was enthusiastic about the lithographs in the book.

Delacroix also illustrated Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Delacroix, then, may be considered the father of the Modern Illustrated Book.




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