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Phychoanalysis In Delacroix's Liberty Leading The People

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While feminism and Marxism work well in hybrid approaches to Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, the same cannot be said for every methodology. This is especially true in regards to psychoanalysis. It is difficult to apply this approach to an older artist like Delacroix. The methodology is so recent and grounded in being able to converse with the artist. In the case of Delacroix, scholars base their psychoanalytic findings on the artist’s writings, both letters and journals. While this can be useful in some cases, such as Wilkin’s use of it to determine Delacroix’s opinions on other artists, it is not when trying to determine Delacroix thoughts on himself and his own art. This means the scholarship is based on Delacroix’s self fashioning. While one can speculate on the subconscious motivations behind his writings, they simply do not add any depth to our understanding of Liberty Leading the People. Scholars try to link psychoanalysis with biography to ground their findings, but this only makes the biography method appear faulty and compromises readers’ willingness to accept fact. Thus, psychoanalysis does not add anything substantial to the study of Delacroix’s painting and should not be used in conjunction with the hybridization of biography, formalism, or social history. An example of a scholar trying to utilize psychoanalysis Jack J. Spector’s article “Delacroix’s ‘Liberty on the Barricades’ in 1815 and 1830” from 1996. In this study, Spector unsuccessful tries to
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