On this day in 1824 an outstanding French artist – Théodore Gericault – died in 1824. He was a master of lithography large-scale battle paintings that united features of Romanticism and Classicism, but also contained powerful realistic traits that influenced French art of the mid 19th century. But during his life Theodore’s works were praised just by few of his friends. Read more on his life here.
Gericault then studied with Pierre Narcisse Guérin, who, steeped in neoclassic principles, could not understand the turn his student’s art was taking. Being unsatisfied with Gericault’s simplification of form, Guerin is said to have remarked, “As for your figures, they resemble nature the way a violin case resembles a violin.” Offended young man replied that Guerin’s works “remind a plaster cast of violin, carefully coloured as if it’s a true one. You can look at it but can’t strike a note on it!”
It was Gericault’s obituary, where the term Romanticism was first used. As Duma mentions in one of his notes, he visited Theodore a week before the artist passed away. And even after a difficult trauma and operation on his spine, Gericault managed to overcome weakness and kept on drawing. Dumas was amased with that.
All his life Gericault adored horses. This can be easily traced in his numerous paintings and sketches of these noble animals. Here’re some of them.
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