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The poem, written in 1821 by Byron based on the legends of Tsar Sardanapalus, after 6 years inspired the legendary creator of large-scale paintings to create a great dramatic composition.
In the picture we see the great Sardanapalus reclining, leaning on his own bed at a time when the enemies are ready to break into the besieged city through the holes in the walls of the fortification. The king calmly observes the eerie sight of a bloody massacre and incredible confusion.
All the characters in the picture, with the exception of Sardanapal and the servant, who helpfully gives him a goblet with poison for the purpose of committing suicide, are exhausted from hellish pain, violence and fear. This work of the master Delacroix is a distinctive canvas characteristic of the French romantic movement at the beginning of the 19th century. The powerful energy, the cold brilliance of gold, and the magnificent radiance of stones are noticeably present in it. And the author conveys all this luxury, using bright juicy paints, which he applies with large, clear strokes.
According to legend, Sardanapalus reigned Assyria (VII century BC), where he led a luxurious and dissolute lifestyle. And when the Indo-European Medean tribe besieged its capital, after two years spent by the inhabitants in the besieged city, he decided not to give up to the enemies: the city was ordered and all its wealth simply destroyed. He himself prepared to take the poison, but before that he ordered to burn his wives, servants and all the treasures in the great fire with him. He did not regret even his beloved, the concubine Mirra, she was especially honored to mix her ashes with him.
This terrible bonfire burned for almost 15 days. The sight is not for the faint of heart! The picture, among other things, also causes a storm of emotions and feelings are by no means positive. Particularly striking are the details on such a large-scale canvas.
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