Source Codes: In Artcurial Alfred de Vigny auction, an illustrated treasure map to the roots of Romanticism

vignydelacroixcostume2-smallEugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863), Costume project for Victor Hugo’s play “Amy Robsart,” 1826. Artcurial pre-sale estimate: 10,000 – 15,000 Euros. Image courtesy and copyright Artcurial.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright Paul Ben-Itzak

Merci to P & M for the ‘tuyau’ sur Gustave Le Gray.

In late December 1827, in the throes of the final rehearsals for “Amy Robsart,” the 25-year-old author’s first play to hit the boards –and which he initially credited, as a gift, to his brother-in-law Paul Foucher — Victor Hugo confided to the 29-year-old Eugene Delacroix, in whom he’d entrusted the costume designs, “If ‘Amy Robsart’ succeeds, my brother Paul owes it all to you.” If critical outcome is to be measured by equal amounts of outrage and acclaim, the premiere of the five-act drama (adapted from Walter Scott’s “Kenilworth”) at the Theatre de l’Odeon, on Valentine’s Day, 1828 — fitting for a drama hailed by many as the debut of Romanticism — was a triumph.

To access the rest of the article, including more images — among them by pioneering 19th century photographer Gustave Le Gray — subscribers please e-mail . Not a subscriber? 1-year subscriptions are just $49 or Euros, or $25 or Euros for students and unemployed artists. Just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to , or write us at that address for information on how to pay by check or in British pounds.