In my dissertation, Delacroix's North African imagery will serve as the focal point within a broader exploration of Orientalism in French painting and culture from 1830-1848, the first phase of French colonialism in North Africa. By probing the relation of Delacroix's imagery to an expanding field of literary and visual Orientalism at the moment of France's emergence as a modern imperial power, I will focus upon the ways in which Orientalist painting of the July Monarchy provided a series of imaginings about North Africa and France's activities there. I will analyze the role of these images in the production of ethnographic and racial models of cultural and national identities, while arguing that the development of such models is intimately linked to the methods and ideology of French colonial warfare and settlement in North Africa. I will focus specifically upon the ways Orientalist painting managed the excessiveness of colonial violence and bolstered support for Louis-Philippe's regime. I will also examine the ways in which painting contributed to the rise of a racial ideology which enabled the dual project of colonial exploitation abroad and the reshaping of the body politic 'at home.' By focusing upon the ways in which Orientalism operates in visual representation, my dissertation will both extend and challenge current approaches to the study of Orientalism and colonialism.