Jean Louis Théodore Géricault was born on September 26, 1791 in Rouen, France. He is one of the luminaries of French Romanticism.
In 1808 he began his first apprenticeship with the neo-classical painter Carle Vernet. After two years, he moved to the studio of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, where the two later initiate the Romantic art movement.
Géricault can be described as emotional and extravagant. He liked to be inspired by his surroundings and tried out different styles. His interests were diverse and his works have always maintained the strong individualism. His favorite subjects were horses, landscapes and portraits.
During his stay in Italy in 1816/17, the artist was fascinated and inspired by the art of the Baroque period and was especially influenced by the master Michelangelo. Théodore Géricault was a passionate horseman and showed his fascination for animal movements in his dramatic paintings, which are characterized by very detailed and meticulous work. His most famous painting, "Raft of Medusa", caused a real scandal in Paris. Pictured is the casualty in 1816 frigate "Méduse". At that time, 137 sailors were killed and 200 ministers and officers, responsible for the navy, were released. Géricault also made studies of body parts and injuries. These scenes shocked conservative Paris at the time.
The macabre depictions in Géricault's painting also hinted at the transition from romanticism to relentless realism. Later, he created atmospheric, vivid portraits of criminals and victims of madness.
Chronic tuberculosis ruined Géricault's health and he died in Paris in 1824 during a riding lesson.