Eugène Delacroix: The Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha (1835)

(Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA)

The subject of this painting is a poem by Lord Byron called "The Giaour", first published in 1813. The poem is about a woman called Leila who is a member of the harem of the pasha Hassan. She falls in love with the Gaiour. As a punishment for that she is killed by her master by being drowned in the sea. The giaour kills Hassan and then enters a monastery due to his remorse. Also interesing is that the clothing of Gaiour looks Greek while the pasha is Ottoman. This is perhaps a reference to the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832). Eugène Delacroix shows us the final duel between the Gaiour and Hassan in his typical romantic style. This is a painting from 1835.

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