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Mark Harden's Artchive: CD-ROM Reviews

[The following review was written by Josie Farmer and authorized for inclusion in The Artchive.]

Eugene Delacroix:
Voyage au Maroc

Dual Platform CD ROM

Install: None, runs from the CD

System 7 or higher, 256 colours.

Language: Running choice of English or French.

At first, this was difficult to launch - a Products window flew open - and after a while ploughing through about 350Mb of French promo material, I realised I ought to close the window and double click on another icon - et voila!

Arboresence, in conjunction with Louvre, Institut du Monde Arabe, Les Films d'Ici and Réunion des Musées Nationaux, has produced this little gem for our total enthrallment.

The CD begins with a background as to how Delacroix got to Morocco at the end of 1831, and how his love of Orientalism was to become a life reality.

The Voyage with Delacroix section has by far the most content on the CD. All of the timescales of his Voyage are explained, in chronological order, with a commentary (switch-offable) of the dates and destinations of the Voyage, along with little QT movies and excerpts from all four of the remaining Sketchbooks, which are currently in French Museums - there were three others, but these have been widely believed to have been separated and sold as single pages worldwide, as DX's work from his Moroccan Sketchbooks exists around the world.

It is the pure charm of these notebooks which has drawn many people to love these works, and it is here in the Voyage section that one feels most drawn in to experience and dote on the wonderful drawings and watercolour pics that are here.

The Courtyard pictures in Meknes are beautiful things, and are probably the most familiar to anyone who has a slight knowledge of the Delacroix Voyage to Morocco. Meknes horses and horsemen, Arabic instruments such as Uds and cornets played in the Moroccan style - you could almost feel that you have visited 19th century Morocco - without even leaving your desk!

All of DX's three trips to Tangier are covered in this section, with the beautiful panoramic views of the city - I love this stuff so much, that I have a whole stairwell devoted to this theme, here in my home in England.

DX sketched most of his Horseback pictures whilst in Meknes, and there are a lot of pages from this period. DX was even received by the Sultan of Morocco whilst on horseback, and another great aspect of this CD is that all of the text is translated for you, by clicking on any desired area of the page.

Bearing in mind that this was the time period before the invention of the automobile, when people who could afford to travelled on horseback, all of the mental pictures of
Orientalism spring to mind, and truly the way that I would have just loved to have seen Morocco, in the 19th century.

There are also some nice sketches of his time in Cadiz, Spain, en route to, and returning from, Morocco.There is even a section on a Jewish Wedding, along with text and sketches, and also Hebrew wedding music.There is also a Forms section, which lists all of the Museums worldwide where DX has a presence, also a Bibliography and an Exhibition section, which lists all know writings about DX and all the places in the world where there has been exhibitions of his work.

After Delacroix returned to Paris, his love of Morocco (like mine!) never left him, and he continued to paint larger works in oils, roughly every year, until his death in1863. These oils are also shown on this CD.

Every time I go to Paris, I go to the Delacroix Museum on Rue Furstemburg, in St. Germain. This was Eugene's home for the last part of his life, and the rooms are full of artefacts and paintings.

The garden alone would be worth the 22FF to enter the Museum, and I often spend an hour or two in this wonderful green, hidden jewel of Paris, after visiting the Museum.

After buying shelves and shelves of CD ROMs over the years, this is the best CD ROM in any category that I have ever seen. It is very well produced and the combination of graphics, QT movies and wonderful Moroccan folk music makes it an enchanting item to add to your CD ROM collection. I don't normally review entertainment titles, but feel that with this one I had to make an exception. I travel a lot in Morocco, and will take this along with me in future. Highly recommended.

Hard to get hold of, and after searching just about every UK and worldwide art web site, I ordered mine from a French software company at and to save on postage, I also bought Delacroix: 'Génie de la couleur' (also dual platform) - both at 199FF (normal retail is 260FF) and 47FF postage for the two, inclusive. What a deal.

Review by Josie Farmer ©1999

All acknowledgments to Arborescence Productions and the Louvre Museum.

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