Iconic 'French liberty' painting returns to the Louvre

Symbol of France returns to museum after six months of repair work

Iconic French painting Liberty Guides the people, by Eugene Delacroix
You can now see the painting in its full glory once more

One of France’s most iconic artworks, Eugène Delacroix’s huge (260×325cm) 1830 painting La Liberté guidant le peuple (Liberty Leading the People) is back on display in the Louvre museum. 

It has been re-hung after after a painstaking, six-month clean-up.

The Romantic era work depicts the people revolting against King Charles X, with a bare-breasted woman personifying the concept and Goddess of Liberty (and not the French Revolution, which some people mistakenly think). 

“Thanks to the patient work carried out by [restorers] Bénédicte Trémolières and Laurence Mugniot, La Liberté guidant le peuple has now regained its brilliance, freshness and the wonderful harmony of colour so typical of Delacroix,” said Laurence des Cars, President and Director of the Musée du Louvre. 

The restorers removed eight layers of varnish that had been applied since 1949 to the oil painting.

The painting is often seen as a symbol of France, and is one of the images most associated with the Republic. 

It is also often used in advertising, postcards, stamps, souvenirs and other memorabilia.