Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Art + History: Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix

Daytime Program

Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0069

"Liberty Leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix, 1830


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.


Great art is timeless, and speaks to us across time, culture and space. Yet great works come from real people living real lives—whether their work was made 5 minutes or 500 years ago. In this series, popular Smithsonian Associates speaker Paul Glenshaw looks at great works of art in their historical context. He delves into the time of the artist, explores the present they inhabited, and what shaped their vision and creations.

Liberty Leading the People, created in 1830, is an iconic symbol of the French Republic. Although it does not depict an actual event, the painting was born in one of the several cycles of revolution that France experienced through the late 18th and much of the 19th century. It commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled the French king Charles X—only to be replaced by another monarch, Louis-Phillipe. Who was Delacroix representing? Why would an artist raised in a family with high status in the French diplomatic world make such a commemoration? Glenshaw explores the work’s political backdrop, the life of the man who still embodies French Romantic painting, and how they came together in a single image.

Glenshaw is an artist, educator, author, and filmmaker with more than 25 years’ experience working across disciplines in the arts, history, and sciences. He teaches drawing for Smithsonian Associates and studied painting at Washington University in St. Louis.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*


If you are interested in additional Art + History lectures, view the upcoming schedule:


  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.