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Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Théodore Géricault created one of the most iconic masterpieces of French Romanticism, the Raft of the Medusa (1818-19). Depicted on a monumental scale, Géricault portrayed in horrifying explicitness scenes of a shipwreck based on a contemporary event in which the captain had deserted his crew and passengers, leaving them to die. The painting’s allusions to governmental negligence and corruption ignited great controversy and brought Géricault widespread attention. Although he died young, his candid representations and bold style influenced many of his contemporaries, including Eugène Delacroix, who served as one of the models for the Raft of the Medusa.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Musée du Louvre, J. Paul Getty Museum
Selected exhibitions
2020
Follow The Line: Durer to Matisse, Master Prints and DrawingsMARQUEE PROJECTS
2019
Black Models: From Géricault to MatisseMusée d'Orsay
2017
Summer SelectionsJill Newhouse Gallery
View all

The Raft of the Medusa, 1818-1819

Oil on canvas
193 1/2 × 282 1/10 in
491.5 × 716.5 cm
Permanent collection
Location
Paris
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Medium
Image rights
Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Théodore Géricault created one of the most iconic masterpieces of French Romanticism, the Raft of the Medusa (1818-19). Depicted on a monumental scale, Géricault portrayed in horrifying explicitness scenes of a shipwreck based on a contemporary event in which the captain had deserted his crew and passengers, leaving them to die. The painting’s allusions to governmental negligence and corruption ignited great controversy and brought Géricault widespread attention. Although he died young, his candid representations and bold style influenced many of his contemporaries, including Eugène Delacroix, who served as one of the models for the Raft of the Medusa.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Musée du Louvre, J. Paul Getty Museum
Selected exhibitions (3)
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