BORN 26 Sep 1791, Rouen - DIED 18 Jan 1824, Paris|
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 12, 1ere ligne, W, 18)
Théodore Géricault was born in Rouen. From his youth he was opposed
to the way of classical painting. He was taught at the École
des Beaux-Arts by Carle Vernet and by P.N. Gúerin. The latter
appreciated his talent but disliked his fiery temper. Eugène
Delacroix was one of his classmates. At the Louvre he copied
the old masters and "The Charging Chasseur" (1812) was influenced
by the style of Rubens. |
After the Bourbon restoration of 1815 he entered the Royal Horseguards for a while to find inspiration for war paintings. In 1817 he travelled to Italy. After his return he created his most famous work, "Le Radeau de la Méduse" ("The Raft of the Medusa", 1819, The Louvre, Paris). It was about a French shipwreck where the captain had left the passengers to die. It also depicted the struggle of man against nature. Eugène Delacroix was the model for one of the dying people. The painting caused controversy in France 1819 but it was praised in England, where in was shown in 1820. He went to London and lived there for a while, observing the poverty in the city and drawing his impressions.
After three years abroad he returned to France, where he painted a series of portraits of the insane patients of his fried Dr. E.J. Georget. Next he started preparing some epic compositions. But the neglect of the injuries caused by a riding accident combined with a chronic tubercular infection weakened his health and he died early in 1824, aged only 32.
was a friend of Delacroix, Eugène
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909