The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Géricault, Jean-Louis André Théodore

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GÉRICAULT, zhā'rē-kō', Jean-Louis André Théodore, French painter: b. Rouen, 26 Sept. 1791; d. Paris, 18 Jan. 1824. He was educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, studied art under Vernet and Guérin. He exhibited at the salon of 1812 his ‘Cavalry Officer on Horseback’ (now in the Louvre) and his reputation was at once established. In 1814 followed his ‘Wounded Cuirassier,’ which was only moderately successful. The artist now joined the army and served for some time at Versailles. He went to Italy in 1817 and studied the great masters there. His work was profoundly influenced by his stay in Italy. ‘The Raft of Medusa’ belongs to this period of his career and is one of the great world masterpieces. It was exhibited by the artist in England and brought $4,000. His stay in England produced the ‘Race for the Derby at Epsom,’ his last big work. In the Louvre, at Rouen Museum at Paris and elsewhere are numerous sketches, lithographs, bronze models, etc. A fall from a horse in 1822 greatly injured his frame and his last two years were spent in great bodily distress. Consult Clément ‘Géricault: Etude biographique et critique’ (Paris 1868); Muther, ‘History of Modern Painting’ (London 1907); Brownell, ‘French Art, Classic and Contemporary’ (New York 1901).