Louis-Auguste Schwiter

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Delacroix painted this portrait of fellow artist, Louis-Auguste Schwiter (1805–1899), in the early years of their lifelong friendship. Not only was this Delacroix’s first full-length portrait, but it also reveals the close attention he paid to work by British artists such as Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) and Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830). These portraits marked a departure from a more formal, heroic style of portraiture whose primary function was often the display of wealth and social status. The use of outdoor locations, such as parks and woodlands, was an important aspect of this new portraiture and Delacroix makes effective use of the dark sky and foliage to highlight areas of bright colour and, perhaps, to hint at Schwiter’s personality.

The National Gallery, London



Louis-Auguste Schwiter




Oil on canvas


H 217.8 x W 143.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1918

Work type



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