Aurore Dupin alias George Sand
Paris, 1804 – Nohant, 1876
Autograph letter to Eugène Delacroix, signed and dated October 11, 1846
6 pages in-8°
Gift of the Société des Amis du Musée Delacroix (MD 2012-3)
Delacroix met George Sand in November 1834, the day after her relationship with Alfred de Musset ended, and painted a portrait of her in men’s clothes, her face marked by the ordeal.
But it was primarily the novelist’s romantic involvement with Chopin, begun in 1838, that brought the two closer. Delacroix appreciated the musician, whom he called his “little Chopin,” and was very fond of his music.
In June 1842, the painter paid a first visit to George Sand’s house in Nohant, in Berry Province, during which time he witnessed a touching scene – the farmer’s wife teaching her granddaughter to read – and painted The Education of the Virgin (Musée Eugène Delacroix). He returned to Nohant, “one of the rare places where everything delights, calms, and consoles me,” in July 1843 and July 1846, painting several studies of flowers. But the lovers separated the following year and Delacroix kept his distance.
The friendship formed between Sand and Delacroix, however, was real and lasting: they maintained the warm and constant correspondence of two people drawn to one another by sympathetic talents and sensibilities. The beautiful letter Sand wrote to Delacroix dated October 11, 1846 (recently acquired by the Musée Delacroix) in response to a letter from the painter on September 12, 1846 attests to this. Within the letter, the painter is referred to as “My good old man.” The novelist gives news of those around her spiritedly, concluding, “Animals and people, it’s still Nohant.” She then goes on to recall the fond and enduring memory of Delacroix’s visits to Nohant through his Education of the Virgin, writing: “That beautiful S[aint] Anne and the sweet little Virgin do me good, and when someone comes by to bother me, I look at them and don’t listen.” Finally, in reply to the painter who complains in his letter of September 12 that he is only able to find wellbeing in his emotions, as when he was a youth, and praises her mature resignation, she writes: “At the present moment, stripped of my torments and my inner storms, I’m not bored by anything, and I’m delighted by everything at hand. And you too, dear artist, you’re delighted by a dog, a fly, a blade of grass. […] Chopin interrupts me here to tell me he adores you.”