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Liberty leads the people
(2 voti)
Écrit par Leonardo Torricini   

This time I tried to reproduced the painting "Liberty leads the people" of Eugène Delacroix in the diorama.
This famous picture is often Wrongly referred to the french revolution, it represents a revolution but not the one of 1789, is not about the real "french revolution" (the one with Louis XIV, the guillotin and the Bastille). Is been painted in 1830 and represents the contemporary insurrection of the parisians against the monarchy.

One of the purposes of the Vienna conference, where met the winner countries after Napoleon defeat, was to prevent any further revolution, that meant the repression of all revolutionary movements and the support to the restaured king, but also an economic support to keep the situation stable in France.
With the social changes that followed the industrial revolution, despite the repression, the new liberal ideals reached also the lower classes, not only the middle-class.
Meanwhile the demand of freedom and of the right of vote spreaded in England and other countries, obtaining some concessions without big disorders, while in France the repression kept going.
This situation resolved when an attempt of king Charles X to stop the liberal progress caused the insurrection of 28th july 1830. A little revolution followed and the king supported by the strangers and hated by most of the french, was substituted by "election" with his cousin Louis Philip, preferred by the people.
King Charles X escaped in England, Loius Philip remained on the throne for 18 years, during that period the unsatisfaction for the monarchy rised again and in 1848 he had to escape in England too, once again the revolution had spreaded in France and in two days of rebellion the republic was restored.

This famous painting, despite being quite obvious and rethoric, has a strong emotional impact and a dynamic plasticity very innovative for the period, that fairly gained it a big fame not only between art fans but also between the big public.
The wanderful female figure of the freedom represented in the middle with the french flag is flanked by a young boy and other characters that represent somehow the various social classes in fight.
Curious and wisely cheecky particulars are the soldiers represented half undressed, it seem that the artist wanted to show the authority (or it's guardians) token by surprise lecteraly "with pants down" as in the case of one of the dead on the foreground (often mistaken for a "sansculotte").
Another partcularity of the picture is about the painter, he didn't took part in the insurrection but he fully aproved it's ideals, and self portraited himself in the man in black with the tube hat and the rifle.
The good quality of his paintings caused the gealousy of many artists, and his ideals were cause of conflict with many, even if within the artistic environment more than elsewhere some shared the same or similar liberal ideals, they still remained a restricted elité and were considered too
progressist by the rest.
Eugène Delacroix frequented more poets, writers and musicians than other painters, he knew Stendhal, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and Paganini. He was especialy friend of Chopin, Baudelaire, Gautier and of the woman writer George Sand.

This time as bases for the conversions I used resin copies of many miniatures: Streles boers; an oarer, a gladiator and the viking woman from Orion; Esci barbarians and an Airfix luftwaffe, plus many other pieces that would be long to list (and difficult to remember exactly).
I begun to try more widely the conversion of clothes, only in a couple of cases I used the copies of the toysoldiers with "traditional" conversions keeping some of their original shapes; for the rest the important was to find some suitable poses (even half naked in two cases), uniforms and clothes didn't mattered, I remuolded and/or resculpted nearly all the clothes and accessories, with some doubtfull results in some parts, but still looking enough like the original picture painted.

I had to use immagination to make some details that were covered or out of frame.
The base is in wood, I curved the frontal part to simulate the pavement, the prominences are sculpted in the foam and covered with very small stones and some pieces of wood, the background picture is an elaboration of the original painting done with Photoshop.

As in my last dioramas I used copies of the conversions instead of the original converted pieces, that I kept unpainted as masters for eventual future pourposes included an hopeful improvement of my mould making and printing.
I realised also that would had be worth some small corrections in the set, the sleeves of the boy's shirt that I forgot to shorten for example. Well, sometimes it happens, as for the self printed toysoldiers that in same cases come out from the mould with those hateful empty spaces (when the resin doesn't fill completely the mould leaving some air bubbles inside).