Viva La Vida

Coldplay have started to unveil all their artwork for their 4th album ‘Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends’. Coldplay’s new single, ‘Violet Hill’, will be available as a free download exclusively from coldplay.com for one week starting today, April 29 at 9.15pm (AEST). This is a full week ahead of the single’s conventional paid-for digital release, on Tuesday May 6th.

Artwork: ‘Viva La Vida’
Here is a little background about this amazing work of art. It’s by Eugène Delacroix (French Romantic Painter) and was painted in 1830 titled “Liberty Leading The People”. Eugene Delacroix is numbered among the greatest and most influential of French painters. He is most often classified as an artist of the Romantic school. His remarkable use of colour was later to influence impressionist painters and even modern artists such as Pablo Picasso.

Liberty leading the People
Liberty Leading The People; Painted on 28 July 1830, to commemorate the July Revolution that had just brought Louis-Philippe to the French throne; Louvre.

This painting, which is a sort of political poster, is meant to celebrate the day of 28 July 1830, when the people rose and dethroned the Bourbon king. Alexandre Dumas tells us that Delacroix’s participation in the rebellious movements of July was mainly of a sentimental nature. Despite this, the painter, who had been a member of the National Guard, took pleasure in portraying himself in the figure on the left wearing the top-hat. Although the painting is filled with rhetoric, Delacroix’s spirit is fully involved in its execution: in the outstretched figure of Liberty, in the bold attitudes of the people following herm contrasted with the lifeless figures of the dead heaped up in the foreground, in the heroic poses of the people fighting for liberty, there is without a doubt a sense of full participation on the part of the artist, which led Argan to define this canvas as the first political work of modern painting.

Liberty Leading the People caused a disturbance. It shows the allegorical figure of Liberty as a half-draped woman wearing the traditional Phrygian cap of liberty and holding a gun in one hand and the tricolour in the other. It is strikingly realistic; Delacroix, the young man in the painting wearing the opera hat, was present on the barricades in July 1830. Allegory helps achieve universality in the painting: Liberty is not a woman; she is an abstract force.

Viva La Vida will be available in Australia & NZ on the 14th of June, while the artwork is now on display at the Louvre, Paris.

Violet Hill single artwork
Violet Hill

Coldplay: Viva La Vida

Viva La Vida

Coldplay have started to unveil all their artwork for their 4th album ‘Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends’. Coldplay’s new single, ‘Violet Hill’, will be available as a free download exclusively from coldplay.com for one week starting today, April 29 at 9.15pm (AEST). This is a full week ahead of the single’s conventional paid-for digital release, on Tuesday May 6th.

Artwork: ‘Viva La Vida’
Here is a little background about this amazing work of art. It’s by Eugène Delacroix (French Romantic Painter) and was painted in 1830 titled “Liberty Leading The People”. Eugene Delacroix is numbered among the greatest and most influential of French painters. He is most often classified as an artist of the Romantic school. His remarkable use of colour was later to influence impressionist painters and even modern artists such as Pablo Picasso.

Liberty leading the People
Liberty Leading The People; Painted on 28 July 1830, to commemorate the July Revolution that had just brought Louis-Philippe to the French throne; Louvre.

This painting, which is a sort of political poster, is meant to celebrate the day of 28 July 1830, when the people rose and dethroned the Bourbon king. Alexandre Dumas tells us that Delacroix’s participation in the rebellious movements of July was mainly of a sentimental nature. Despite this, the painter, who had been a member of the National Guard, took pleasure in portraying himself in the figure on the left wearing the top-hat. Although the painting is filled with rhetoric, Delacroix’s spirit is fully involved in its execution: in the outstretched figure of Liberty, in the bold attitudes of the people following herm contrasted with the lifeless figures of the dead heaped up in the foreground, in the heroic poses of the people fighting for liberty, there is without a doubt a sense of full participation on the part of the artist, which led Argan to define this canvas as the first political work of modern painting.

Liberty Leading the People caused a disturbance. It shows the allegorical figure of Liberty as a half-draped woman wearing the traditional Phrygian cap of liberty and holding a gun in one hand and the tricolour in the other. It is strikingly realistic; Delacroix, the young man in the painting wearing the opera hat, was present on the barricades in July 1830. Allegory helps achieve universality in the painting: Liberty is not a woman; she is an abstract force.

Viva La Vida will be available in Australia & NZ on the 14th of June, while the artwork is now on display at the Louvre, Paris.

Violet Hill single artwork
Violet Hill





28 Comments

  1. I think this is our first exclusive! You saw it here first ladies and gentlemen

  2. do we know who the designer behind the type and the single cover is?

  3. as much i dislike coldplay, i really like this album cover, maybe because it’s so unexpected.

  4. I think EMI is pretty much doing whatever the band wants at this point because they need a #1 selling band on the roster. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the art.

  5. The colors of the Violet Hill single look like they were inspired by Tal R.

  6. this is nice..it´s my actual desktop.

    it´s really interesting the painture as typography on that piece of art.

    graffiti reloaded!

  7. new song isn’t very good

  8. Excellent work. I have a particular fondness for Cover art which references historical artworks. Congrats on the exclusive.

  9. Reminds me of the Pogues ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’ cover which adapted The Raft of the Medusa, by Théodore Géricault

  10. Pretentious cráp

  11. The single cover also reminds me of the pollockesque Stone Roses Debut.

  12. Yikes, who broke into the Louvre and defaced this painting?

  13. Yea I’d love to know the designer-and how they got permission from the Louvre to do this to (what I would assume is) a reproduction of the Delacroix. Maybe they didn’t?

  14. the cover reminds me of a readymade of marcel duchamp (the one with repro of mona lisa)or the work of banksy with his smiley on the face of mona lisa. both are somekind of readymade’s just like this cover.

  15. Do you need permission given the artist has certainly rotted away by now? Therefore I don’t think permission from Louvre would be needed. I could be wrong.

    I have to say, I personally don’t like the use of old works of art in this way. Having said that, the cover certainly captures my attention and the way they’ve painted over it is nice. I’m sure it’ll be controversial to those who love art and think it shouldn’t be “defaced” like this.

  16. Coldplay have taken an interesting approach to this cover, and I agree with Matias defiantly graffiti reborn.

    The Violet Hill single artwork reminds me a lot of some of the work my college friends and i have been producing for our studies so I really love it.

  17. As if I didn’t hate Coldplay enough already, now they’re taking a wannabe Jackson Pollock shit on Delacroix…

    What else can I add.

  18. I personally am in love with this album cover. If you know anything about the French Revolution, then you know it was all a bunch of anarchy, but there was a great amount of nationalism combined.

    I think the white “grafitti” on this painting adds to the intensity of the scene, and the feeling behind it. I don’t think it defaces Delacroix at all, it just gives a modern twist to this classical piece, almost showing the angst of today (the splattered white paint) is much like the angst of the 1700s…

    I haven’t listened to the whole album yet, but what I’ve heard is intnse enough.
    (:

  19. I can understand some people getting protective about great works of art being used to springboard other ideas and maybe wonder about pernmission etc. Personally, I feel that if a piece of art simply quoted instead of irreversibly changed, that’s fine. It’s like quoting a great piece of literature in another book or a song.

    This reminds me of Goya and the Chapmans or Banksy’s Mona Lisa. It’s interesting and exciting … not often words I use when talking about Coldplay but it makes me think twice about them as a band.

    I like it.

  20. Does any one know the name of the artist/photographers/illustrator behind previous Coldplay singles artwork? Like for Yellow, the Scientis, etc.

  21. It would have been nice to see details of this great piece as singles

  22. WACK!!!NOT THAT KOOL GENTS!!!NUFF SAID!

  23. Check this, it´s crazy!

    http://domingosabio.iespana.es/palito/19_palito_vivalavida_19.jpg

    http://www.rollingstone.com.ar/weblogs/flashes-rockeros/nota.asp?nota_id=1022946

  24. being french, it feels really weird to see this on an album cover, as a reproduction of the painting was on all 10 Francs notes before the Euro came in!!!
    i do like the graffiti type, but i’ve never really liked the painting so it’s a so-so reaction for me.

  25. I think it’s terribly pompous of a mediocre band such as Coldplay to deface such a beautiful piece of art and claim it as their own. How arrogant and pretentious of them. Even more-so, they are using French art. Pompous, arrogant bastards.

  26. I liked the album, and the cover art is really cool too. They aren’t defacing it, just brandishing it in a new way. I like the piece by itself anyways. However, I wish to punch the idiot that said this was of the French Revolution. It says right in the article and if you did any true research, you’d see it says “July Revolution of 1830″.

  27. I think that both, the album and the cover, are just perfect!
    Coldplay is becoming one of the most important bands of the world and their covers are being really good picked to.

  28. No words on the typography?
    What about the relationship between this sleeve and this one: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Cy1suq91vBA/SHkY6OkCvdI/AAAAAAAABIM/0MX9CNYmlYA/s400/coldplayortega.jpg ?

    I would have exected more from you guys…

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