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