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Interior of a Dominican Convent in Madrid

Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, French, 1798 - 1863


Oil on canvas

51 1/4 x 63 3/4 inches (130.2 x 161.9 cm) Framed: 66 x 78 5/8 x 6 3/8 inches (167.6 x 199.7 x 16.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor (Dorrance Galleries)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1894

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The subject of this painting is from a popular nineteenth-century English novel, Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer, translated into French in 1821. A young man forced into a convent as a child undergoes harrowing trials in order to escape his punitive and corrupt surroundings. Here he is shown being dragged before the bishop of Madrid. The artist depicts a cavernous, vaulted room that is actually based on the interior of the Palace of Justice in Rouen, France. Delacroix's use of this decidedly un-Spanish, secular setting may have been an intentional reference to the oppressive link between civic and religious power, a theme prominent in the novel.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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