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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Theodore
Gericault
French painter, draftsman, sculptor & lithographer
born 1791- died January 26 1824

Also known as:
Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault, Jean Louis André Théodo

Nationality:
French

Influence on:
Alfred Dedreux (1810-1860)

Student of:

Friend of:
Leon Cogniet (1794-1880)


Biographical Information

GERICAULT, JEAN LOUIS ANDRE THEODORE (1791-1824), French painter, the leader of the French realistic school, was born at Rouen in 1791. In 1808 he entered the studio of Charles Vernet, from which, in 1810, he passed to that of Guérin, whom he drove to despair by his passion for Rubens, and by the unorthodox manner in which he persisted in interpreting nature. At the Salon of 1812 Géricault attracted attention by his Officier de Chasseurs a Cheval (Louvre), a work in which he personified the cavalry in its hour of triumph, and turned to account the solid training received from Guérin in rendering a picturesque point of view which was in itself a protest against the cherished convictions of the pseudo-classical school. Two years later (1814) he re-exhibited this work accompanied with the reverse picture Cuirassier blessé (Louvre), and in both subjects called attention to the interest of contemporary aspects of life, treated neglected types of living form, and exhibited that mastery of and delight in the horse which was a feature of his character. Disconcerted by the tempest of contradictory opinion which arose over these two pictures, Géricault gave way to his enthusiasm for horses and soldiers, and enrolled himself in the mousquetaires. During the Hundred Days he followed the king to Bethune, but, on his regiment being disbanded, eagerly returned to his profession, left France for Italy in 1816, and at Rome nobly illustrated his favourite animal by his great painting Course des Chevaux Libres. Returning to Paris, Géricault exhibited at the Salon of 1819 the Radeau de la Méduse [The Raft of the Medusa] (Louvre), a subject which not only enabled him to prove his zealous and scientific study of the human form, but contained those elements of the heroic and pathetic, as existing in situations of modern life, to which he had appealed in his earliest productions. Easily depressed or elated, Géricault took to heart the hostility which this work excited, and passed nearly two years in London, where the Radeau was exhibited with success, and where he executed many series of admirable lithographs now rare. At the close of 1822 he was again in Paris, and produced a great quantity of projects for vast compositions, models in wax, and a horse écorché, as preliminary to the production of an equestrian statue. His health was now completely undermined by various kinds of excess, and on the 26th of January 1824 he died, at the age of thirty-three.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

   Artist Portraits

The Raft of the Medusa

1819
Oil on canvas
491 x 716 cm
(193.31" x 281.89")
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Added: 2001-10-16
The Raft of the Medusa
An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging

1814
Oil on canvas
349 x 266 cm
(137.4" x 104.72")
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Added: 2001-10-16
An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging
Derby at Epsom

c1820
Oil on canvas
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Art Expression
Added: 2001-10-16
Derby at Epsom
The Blacksmith's Signboard

Oil on wood
Kunsthalle (Hamburg, Germany)

Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
Added: 2001-10-16
The Blacksmith's Signboard
Leda and the Swan

c1780
Watercolour with gouache
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
Added: 2001-10-16
Madwoman

c1822
Oil on canvas
National Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
Added: 2001-10-16
Madwoman
Woman with Gambling Mania

c1822
Oil on canvas
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Added: 2001-10-16
Woman with Gambling Mania
Horse frightened by lightning

Oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts (Rouen, Normandy, France)

Art Expression
Added: 2001-10-16
Horse frightened by lightning
Study for The Raft of the Medusa

Study
Private collection

Added: 2001-10-16
Study for The Raft of the Medusa
English Scenes ­ Horses

Lithograph
Private collection

Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
Added: 2001-10-16
English Scenes ­ Horses