LE RADEAU DE LA MÉDUSE ANALYSE

What’s in a Painting? taking a Closer watch at Théodore Géricault’s Masterpiece: Raft ns the Medusa (c.1818-19)
“The truly gifted separation, personal, instance does not fear obstacles, because he knows that hey can surmount them; without doubt they often are an additional asset; thé fever they are able à excite in his spirit is not lost; it even frequently becomes the causer of auto most astonishing productions.” ~ Théodore Géricault

The Raft ns the Medusa is not an easy la peinture to study or appreciate, marqué it deserves ours attention; parce que le we have the right to learn lot from the real-life tragic occasion that inspired it, ont well as the feverish dedication and skill with which cette was painted.

Vous lisez ce: Le radeau de la méduse analyse

Measuring a whopping 23 passant par 16 feet, this épique oil conditions météorologiques canvas masterpiece currently hangs in a gallery near the Mona Lisa in thé Louvre, Paris.

Le Radeau aux la Méduse to be Théodore Géricault’s most famous et shocking work de art.


Le Radeau aux la Meduse by Théodore Géricault c. 1818-19


The Raft of the Medusa portrays a brief instants of euphoria as the homme on thé raft spot un autre ship in auto distance, hoping and praying to be rescued after thirteen horrific work at sea. The Argus can only seul be seen on the horizon.

You can nearly hear auto men’s hoarse cries in an attempt venir draw attentif to your desperate plight, mustering your last ounce ns strength à shout et wave a stained, ripped shirt. This is your last chance of survival…

Théodore Géricault, a courageous, passionate, Romantic era french painter and lithographer, sadly passed away from tuberculosis at the tender âge of thirty three. Géricault didn’t habitent long enough venir see his paining attain its greatness, marqué that seems to be the way du things pour many artists and creatives.

Probably the fantôme of Vincent van Gogh would be flabbergasted (but happy), to savoir the sums of money passing hands pour his prized paintings; or of his universal popularity and posthumous fame. Yet of the prolific oeuvre de 900 paintings hey produced in his lifetime, hey sold seul one: rouge Vineyard at Arles.

It is a curious phenomena. Countless artists, composers et writers to be under appreciated or misunderstood in their prime… In the spirit ns originality castle were just being true à themselves, adhering to their inside compass, regardless du the trends, thoughts and fashions du the time.

Who knows what Géricault might ont produced had hey been gifted v a couple of more years venir bestow his artistic dégalité on auto world. Marqué in my humble opinion hey has earned a carré at auto table du the greats with this heart-rending work.

The Raft of the Medusa depicts thé harrowing et calamitous historic outcome de the ill-fated voyage de the français Navy’s forty pistolet Frigate Méduse, carrying approximately 400 passengers (including the nouveau Governor and his wife), concède various français officials that were en-route venir reclaim Senegal from auto British.


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The Méduse ran aground nous the bank of Arguin off the côte of Mauritania in auto summer de 1816. Auto shipwreck et its raft la tragédie elicited considerable public emotion, making Méduse one of the most infamous shipwrecks ns the age of Sail.

An it s not enough ability captain

Viscount étreinte Duroy de Chaumareys was installed oui ship’s captain passant par King louis XVIII in a politics manoeuvre because ns his faire un don for auto monarchy after auto Bourbon Restoration.


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The king overlooked the fact that cette had fixed sailed parce que le twenty years, and was plainly unsuitable à la the posting. Cette was an act of unmatched hubris by the français monarch, as Monsieur ns Chaumareys proved himself to be incompetent and grossly negligent parce que le the unnecessary deaths du many of his passengers et crew.

The Méduse was not the sapin vessel to not bring enough lifeboats for tous its passengers, et sadly it has not been auto last. Over there were seul enough lifeboats à accommodate 250 passengers conditions météorologiques the voyage should auto need arise. Et arise it did.

In his attempt à impress the nouveau governor et important guests, auto captain sailed too fast et too fermer la porte to the shore (ignoring auto warnings ns a an elderly crew member), in his bid to venir at their avant the accompanying vessels. Inevitably, the Medusa win a taille sandbank.

Perhaps auto ignominy fabriqué too gros a dent in his pride, ont de Chaumareys refused à offload auto heavy cannons nous board thé Méduse so elle could be re-floated. De nouveau unconscionable decision with others à follow that would certainly cost an ext lives.

Stranded éteindre the ouest African coast, thé Méduse listed helplessly. Initially, ce was made decision that thé lifeboats would make two return runs à shore (around thirty miles away) in bespeak to volonté everyone to safety, et a raft was hastily built, twenty metres long et seven metres wide, à transport thé ship’s cargo.


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However, incl weather whipped increase a storm that fight them nous 5th July 1816 and the captain, fearing auto Méduse would pause apart, gave thé order to abandon ship. Seventeen soldiers and crew remained nous the ship in order venir protect sa cargo, while 250 passenger were put in the lifeboats et 147 souls to be packed like sardines onto thé raft, which was being towed passant par the lifeboats.

Human nature always seems to be either at its worst jaune its le meilleur during times ns crisis, and there does not appear à be any type of signs de heroism emerging from this specific historical debacle.

The personnes in thé lifeboats (perhaps fearing parce que le their own lives), couper the ropes towing thé raft after a bit, et with barely any food, boire or tons sustaining supplies and no way ns steering jaune navigating, the raft drifted into the swell of the Atlantic…

The evident cruelty and callousness v which they to be jettisoned by the passengers in the lifeboats would certainly unleash hellish conditions and unbridled panic nous the unfortunate masculin (and une woman) clinging to the raft, oui they rapidly perished through drowning, starvation, suicide, disease, fighting et murder.

Although shocking, it’s probably not surprising that some du them at some point resorted venir cannibalism.

The central of the raft was the safest place et violent assaults broke out ont the homme clambered and fought venir be far from thé exposed edges, auto prowling sharks and the unforgiving waves…

After thirteen days ns being tossed roughly at sea, one de the accompanying ships, the Argus, saw and subsequently rescued auto survivors from what was left de the raft. They found seul fifteen homme left alive from the 147, et a more five de these passed away when they reached land, including the last african crew member, Jean-Charles.

Suddenly, here was a historical peinture, etc not de heroic deeds, not attracted from ancient Greek or roman mythology, cible of real people struggling through a modern disaster, shown to the français nation in the form of Géricault’s brutally visual social commentary conditions météorologiques the tragedy.


To ajouter insult to injury du Chaumareys ressentir a rescue crew ago to auto Méduse venir recover elle cargo du gold. Auto ship had not to be broken individuel as he had thought, but remained intact, with seulement un three of the seventeen masculin who stayed aboard toujours alive after fifty 4 days.

During his meugler martial in 1817, aux Chaumareys to be acquitted nous three counts: of abandoning his squadron, du failing à re-float his ship and of abandoning auto raft. However, he was found guilty on deux counts: of incompetent and complacent navigation et of abandoning auto Méduse before tous her passengers had actually been bring away off.

The décision carried a potential fatality penalty, but ns Chaumareys to be sentenced to seulement un three years in jail.

However, I à faire feel the british must have had their fair share de bumbling idiots placed in unsuitable positions du power and responsibility by favour de royal or noblesse patrons, without tandis que consideration to auto consequences du their actions.

Even though The Raft du the Medusa must have highlighted further thé embarrassment et subsequent attempt venir cover-up the shipwreck par the français monarchy, its considerable depiction nous canvas to be nonetheless shown at the prestigious paris Salon in 1819.


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King louis XVIII commented: “Monsieur Géricault, you’ve painted a shipwreck, but it’s no one à la you.”

Its grisly, visuellement storytelling wasn’t so frais removed from thé tenets of the Romantic Movement: à arouse emotions, feelings and passion; reacting versus cool, tough logic and depicting individuals in peril. Although Romantic in genre there is still an element ns Classicism in auto work.

The basic theme of Romanticism was that no everything can be understood.

“Feel the force of la nature in tous of your grandeur et power so you feel insignificant. Seul then can elle feel part ns something bigger.” ~ Edmund Burke

People were smaller sized parts of a larger, secret whole; usually painted at auto mercy du the forces of nature in wild and untamed landscapes.

Voir plus: Top 15 Meilleurs Mangas De Tous Les Meilleurs Manga De Tous Les Temps

Romantic de lart works to be designed to make personnes feel overwhelmed, et I think when nous look at this painting, the best word à describe auto Raft du the Medusa is overwhelming….

Géricault grafted et crafted a work-related that was overwhelming in subject matter beyond anything that had actually been painted de anyone before. Ce confronts us with strong visceral material: physical, mental et emotional suffering, toutes les personnes the much more poignant à la its small element of hope.

Despite the painting’s similarity with the historical event cette portrays, there are noteworthy differences. For toutes les personnes its authenticity, Géricault may ont decided to heighten the drama for aesthetic considerations. Over there are more people conditions météorologiques the raft in the la peinture than there to be left in genuine life, and the weather was sunny et calm conditions météorologiques the day ns the rescue, no brooding et stormy. Cible we’ll pardon him parce que le taking such creative licence!

“With the brush we merely tint, while the imagination alone produce colour.” ~ Théodore Géricault

The whole Raft ns the Medusa task was completed by Géricault in eighteen months.

The right hand triangle of tangled, contorted bodies is crowned par a black man, waving a makeshift flag at the ship conditions météorologiques the horizon. Perhaps he was likewise commenting conditions météorologiques slavery, ont well as the desire venir survive, parce que le Géricault was an Abolitionist.

The step is dark, it does no hide the madness, desperation et death that these souls experienced, cible Géricault calmer manages to impart some aesthetic beauty beauty into the work. The les données are clearly Baroque in your physical appearance, muscular et of the belles you could see in a painting by Peter pôle Rubens (who to be a major conséquences sur on Géricault).

The bright is somewhat “Caravaggesque”, after auto Italian artist closely associated with tenebrism—the use of sauvagement contrast between light et dark.

It might be claimed that over there is likewise the affecter of Michelangelo if you study auto detail ns the underworld from his immortal Renaissance masterpiece, auto Last Judgement nous the Sistine Chapel.


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“Michelangelo ressentir shivers up mien spine, these perdu souls damaging each divers inevitably conjure up auto tragic grandeur of the Sistine Chapel.” ~ Théodore Géricault

A literary influence is additionally prominently nous display in thé painting, Géricault’s clever way ns making auto viewer des questions what lock would faire in a comparable situation. Hey does this de depicting a character from a well-known story to his public of the time: count Ugolino indigenous Dante’s Divine Comedy.

It is thought hey ‘borrowed’ the d’image from a painting ns Ugolini by Henry Fuseli (1741–1825).


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We see thé dolorous, mature, grey haired man, rouge scarf draped over his head, his right elbow on his knee, sitting hunched in grief et resignation v his left arm relaxing over his dead son.

Géricault is asking nous through these compte representing counting Ugolino and his lifeless son: is hunger stronger than grief?

In Inferno, Dante writes that auto prisoners were progressively starved à death et before dying counting Ugolino’s youngsters begged him to eat your bodies.

“’Father our pain’, lock said,‘Will lessen if you eat nous you are thé oneWho clothed nous with this wretched flesh: conditions météorologiques pleadFor you venir be the one who strips it away’.(Canto XXXIII, ln. 56–59)

“… et I,Already walk blind, groped over mien broodCalling venir them, though ns had watched castle die,For two long days. And then the hunger had actually morePower than even sorrow over me”(Canto XXXIII, ln. 70–73)Research above and beyond the appel of duty!

In his quest to make année impact et accurately depict thé events that took place nous the raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault first read damning journaux accounts in the un journal des débats which appeared nous 13 September 1816, then contacted two survivors from auto shipwreck: auto cartographer Alexandre Corréard et surgeon Jean-Baptiste Henri Savigny.

They had actually co-written a livre about their ordeal et agreed à meet him and relay their traumatic experiences. He put them up in his loger during this time.

Géricault learned that thé ship’s carpenter had likewise survived, et duly invited him à build a smaller range replica ns the yes, really raft in his studio. Hey was climate able to study auto perspective de a reality scene parce que le his epic painting.


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And si you didn’t think that that was enough, he also visited auto morgue à sketch and study corpses and cadavers, haricot de soja that he could correctly portray your lifeless, pallid expressions et complexions.

Géricault also took the unprecedented step de bringing corps humain parts back à his studios to paint. The stench de putrid meat must ont been overwhelming, no to mention the most unpleasant et macabre nature of this undertaking.


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Composition et structure

The majority de the raft’s residents are i ordered it in deux pyramid frais structures together with the petit sail, while thé open space at thé forefront de the raft makes it seem closer and invites us venir step aboard si we dare…

The way thé light shines and reflects conditions météorologiques the living (and dead flesh), in a brief instants of euphoria ont they spot a ship nous the horizon is really rather eerie. The super wave on the left threatens à engulf them tous before they deserve to be rescued, their instance is calmer precarious. Auto sun’s light ray illuminating the sky from beyond thé horizon offsets the foreboding dark clouds. There is not lot left de the raft itself at this stage.

French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix posed oui the dark haired figure lying face down at thé front de the la peinture with his arm stretched out in front of him.

Delacroix was a friend and admirer of Géricault, and later painted his famed Barque de Dante along comparable thematic lines.

“Géricault allowed me to check out his Raft of Medusa while cette was toujours working conditions météorologiques it. It made soja tremendous année impression on me that when je came out du the studio ns started running like a madman et did not arrêter till je reached mien own room.” ~ Eugène Delacroix
" data-medium-file="https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=676" class="size-large wp-image-6401" src="https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=676&h=506" alt="" width="676" height="506" srcset="https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=676&h=506 676w, https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=150&h=112 150w, https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=300&h=225 300w, https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg?w=768&h=575 768w, https://virginiaburges.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/eugc3a8ne_delacroix_-_the_barque_of_dante.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 676px) 100vw, 676px" />The Barque du Dante by Eugène Delacroix


The raft de the Medusa was displayed in london in 1820 at william Bullock’s Egyptian hall in Piccadilly, London, indigenous 10th juin until thé end de the year, et was seen by around 40,000 visitors. It proved much more popular in London, partly because ce was hung low to thé ground (unlike at the salomé where its high emplacement lessened its monumental impact).

Influences on Géricault parce que le The Raft of the Medusa

French modern-day artists the would ont left their signe on Géricault et influenced his approach and execution ns the Raft du the Medusa, were Jacques-Louis David, Antoine-Jean Gros et Pierre-Paul Prud’hon.

From Wikipedia:

Several English et American paints including thé Death of surtout Pierson par John Singleton Copley (1738–1815)—also painted within deux years du the event—had established a precedent pour a contemporary subject. Copley had likewise painted several large et heroic depictions ns disasters at sea i beg your pardon Géricault may oui known indigenous prints: Watson et the Shark (1778), in i m sorry a black man is central to thé action, and which, like thé Raft du the Medusa, concentrated nous the actors of the dramma rather than the seascape;


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The Defeat of the Floating batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782 (1791), which was année influence on both thé style and subject matter du Géricault’s work; et Scene of a Shipwreck (1790s), which has a strikingly comparable composition. A further considérable precedent parce que le the political component was auto works de Francisco Goya, an especially his thé Disasters du War series of 1810–12, and his 1814 masterpiece auto Third of pouvez 1808.

Jean-Louis andré Théodore Géricault (1791 – 1824)

Born in rouen to a rich family, jeune Theo was life educated in his de lart by thé painter Carle Vernet, in thé sytle ns English sporting art. Many of his earlier lieu de travail were mostly of horses or with a army theme, et sometimes combined both.


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He to be allowed to paint thé magnificent steeds in their stables at Versailles. Pierre-Narcisse Guérin teach him classical figure composition, cible Géricault decided venir self-direct his education and learning at the louvre from 1810 à 1815, copying works passant par Rubens, Titian, Velázquez and Rembrandt.

His last lieu de travail were a series of ten paintings du the insane, auto patients du a friend, Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pionnier in psychiatric medicine, through each subject exhibiting a different affliction. Five are well-known to have survived, including auto Insane Woman. ‘Les monomaniacs’ portraits room subtle et brilliantly nuanced.

Interesting history of the artist de Dr. Christian Conrad:


In addition à his affecter on Delacroix, Géricault’s work had année important effect on Edouard Manet and the en vigueur impressionists. JMW tourneur even strapped self to auto mast de ship to experience being out in a tempête in the quest à la authenticity!

Géricault might be considered the pivotal founding illustration of modern-day art.

The event and the painting inspired auto German composer Hans Werner Henze, that wrote a aptly epic d’oratorio on auto subject, Das Floß cette Medusa.

The an effective presence and authenticity du this work; that is scope, that is grisly subject matter et enthusiastic, atmospheric rendering will ensure the Raft of the Medusa stays in auto cannon du humanity’s greatest arts works.

Voir plus: Les Mille Et Une Nuits (Mini-Série), Les Mille Et Une Nuits

All i can to speak is i’m glad i wasn’t there! thankfully lessons to be learned native this tragic illustration of français Maritime history. The Gouvion du Saint-Cyr legislation ensured that promotions in the français military would afterwards be based solely on merit.

“Our whole society is aboard auto raft du the Medusa.” ~ jules Michelet