Gautier, a novelist, poet, traveler, and collector, was also an art critic with a finely wrought style.
Drawn to painting before finally opting for literature, his early serialized novels date from 1836. His articles in La Presse and in L’Artiste were followed avidly by his readers to whom he wanted to transmit his love of beauty and painting. For Gautier, Delacroix - whom he met in the studio of Boissard de Boisdenier in 1845 - held an eminent position in modern art, as he expressed "all the passion, all the fever, all the dreams of the century."
Yet this admiration did not prevent less favorable criticism from time to time, which Delacroix did not hold against him - on the contrary, the painter often asked for his support.