De Chaumereys was court-martialed, then acquitted because the French feared ridicule from other nations for putting such a naive captain in charge. Théodore Géricault completed The Raft of the Medusa when he was 27, and the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. The "Medusa" was an actual French ship back in the early 1800's which suffered a shipwreck due to its captain's incompetence, which caused the death of around 150 members of its crew and passengers and was a major scandal back in its time. The Raft of the Medusa Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) was the painter behind the raft of Medusa, an 1818-1819 work of painting measuring 16 by 23 by 6 inches (716 by 491cm). We will write a custom Essay on Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. The Raft Of The Medusa 2428 Words | 10 Pages. First of all, The Raft of the Medusa managed to do what every painter wishes to achieve with his or her piece - to inspire a new movement, to give birth to a new style that will take over the scene. The sky and water are also definitely Romantic in nature as they depict drama, shadow and light, conveying the strong forces that these unfortunate humans are at the mercy of. Géricault even had the raft reconstructed. The raft was hastily assembled, and anyone who was not deemed as important as the governor, other dignitaries we assigned to the raft. Start studying 13, 14, 17. While Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa was an evitable piece when studying the launch of French Romanticism, it wasn’t until I stood on the polished floors of Louvre and admired its rich brushstrokes that I understood why so many artists throughout time have been inspired by this piece. This painting is a reduction of Théodore Géricault's massive The Raft of the Medusa (1819, Musée du Louvre, 16.1 x 23.5 feet). Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Wien 2017, ISBN 978-3-5520-5816-3, by Franzobel; Other references. At the time the Medusa set sail in June 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on board a French ship for twenty years. It … In the June of 1816, the frigate Méduse set sail with three other ships, setting their course for the Senegalese port of Saint-Louis which had been given to the French by the British as a sign of good faith to the reinstated king, Louis XVIII. Unmerciful and uncompromising in the depicted brutality, the desperation on canvas is as devastating as the story behind the painting. The idea was that the raft would be towed. Its muse is not myth but history. Disappointed by the reception of The Raft of the Medusa, Géricault took the painting to England in 1820, where it was received as a sensational success.He remained there for two years, enjoying the equine culture and producing a body of lithographs, watercolours, and oils of jockeys and horses. The Medusa (or Méduse) was a French naval frigate that boasted … The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault: Painted in 1819, it depicts the horrific aftermath of a pilgrimage voyage off the coast of Africa. Consider both style and subject matter. The following are possible student responses: An interest in the common man and childhood. His incompetence, both in terms of seamanship and leadership, led to the grounding of the Medusa and encouraged the panic that swept those on board. Max Ernst, Vik Muniz, Sandra Cinto, Louise Fishman and Kristin Baker have all created their own variations of it. 301 certified writers online. By 1815, Jacque… The two pyramids serve to isolate the two distinct possibilities: rescue or massacre[5]. It drew fire from French critics over the political implications and ambiguity of whether the men on the raftwere to be rescued or not. The wealthy were given access and ample space on the lifeboats while the remaining 149 people were forced onto a makeshift raft which was tied by a rope to one of the lifeboats. Géricault's masterpiece, The Raft of the Medusa, was also his most controversial painting. The French public was outraged when it found out what happened to the Méduse but was utterly shocked when they were presented with the painted version of the story - and make no mistake, French artistic community was never easily shocked. Das Floß der Medusa. The Raft of the Medusa was certainly more than a painting of the aftermath of a shipwreck. After attempts to re-float the stricken vessel, the decision was made to abandon her. At the time the Medusa set sail in June 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on board a French ship for twenty years. - [Beth] So, 150 people were abandoned at sea. Géricault's compositional structure and depiction of the figures are classical, but the contrasting turbulence of the subject represents a significant change in artistic direction and creates an important bridge between Neoclassical and Romantic styles. It was a representation of the ‘Raft of the Medusa’ and Barnes had devoted an entire chapter (and he only had ten and a half) to the painting. Théodore also worked from live models and interestingly, the artist Eugène Delacroix was one of them. The Raft of the Medusa Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) was the painter behind the raft of Medusa, an 1818-1819 work of painting measuring 16 by 23 by 6 inches (716 by 491cm). Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 2 pages. This painting depicts a dilapidated raft riding in deep waves while the men on it … At some point, the raft was either intentionally or accidentally cut loose. As he later testified, he knew the five lifeboats would never hold his 400 crew and passengers so he had the ship’s carpenters build a raft of wooden beams tied with rope. Why was Nocturne in Black and Gold, The Falling Rocket by James Abbott McNeill Whistler a controversial work? As The Medusa sailed from Rochefort in 1816, many aboard saw bright futures ahead for themselves. It was the latter who tapped the young artist to pose for his controversial 1819 masterwork The Raft of the Medusa, in the process teaching Delacroix about the shock value of contentious subject matter and stylistic risks. With the French Empire floundering and a band of Hard-Right ultra-royalists creating laws in France, the promise of a new start in a fresh land was enticing for many. This masterful composition strongly influenced arts history and many of its representatives, inspiring them to put as much effort as possible to constructing a perfect visual experience[7]. Due to the impact it had on the European scene, it comes as no surprise that many younger authors have created their own versions and interpretations of The Raft of the Medusa. The role of the captain was given to Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys, a 53-year-old man who had not been on a ship for twenty-five years and had never commanded a frigate before in his life. The Raft of the Medusa has also inspired many of avant-garde and contemporary authors as well. What made the Raft of the Medusa so controversial? As such, the piece contained all the features that defined what Romantic meant. As I opened it a folded piece of paper came out of the book. They had been given no compass or chart. Get step-by-step explanations, verified by experts. The raft of medusa is a painting that was painted by an artist known as Theodore Gericault in the year 1819. The Raft of the Medusa breaks the border between art and life. The epic painting The Raft of the Medusa features a gruesome mass of figures afloat at sea, some dead, some struggling for life, in a tangled mass positioned on a crudely-made raft. This tragedy became a major news event and scandal of its day, an international embarrassment whose cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the captain. The only African figure on the raft waves a cloth at the top of a pile of a few men who are struggling to get the attention of a ship in the distance (located on the far right of the horizon line). We aim at providing better value for money than most. Its style relies on the drama and fluidity of the Baroque movement and utilizes loose brushstrokes, a strong and somber color palette, the sharp contrast of light and dark and dramatic poses. In its insistence on portraying an unpleasant truth, The Raft of the Medusa was a landmark in the emerging Romantic movement in French painting, and "laid the foundations of an aesthetic revolution" against the prevailing Neoclassical style. The Raft Of The Medusa - Theodore Gericault. Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Wien 2017, ISBN 978-3-5520-5816-3, by Franzobel; Other references. De Chaumereys made the decision to get the ships carpenter to make a raft which would carry the other 150 people which could be pulled along by the life boats. Painted in 1819, it depicts the horrific aftermath of a pilgrimage voyage off the coast of Africa. Furthermore, the people on the raft are subtly divided into four separate groups; the dead and dying are in the middle, then there are those struggling to stand up, a third group is comprised of three figures huddled together by the mast and the fourth group is capped by the African man swinging the flag in desperation. This is best evidenced by the despondent father who holds onto the body of his dead son in the foreground. At the 1819 Salon, the painting was retitled as The Scene of a Shipwreck in order to avoid harsh reactions from the French government; a somewhat surprising decision considering how obsessed and dedicated Géricault was to the creation of the artwork[3]. Studying the painting from left to right, its obvious that the physicality of the figures intensifies - however, it should be noted that this does not necessarily include the emotional drama as well. Classical columns and an arcade can be seen in the background. The Raft of the Medusa measures roughly 16 feet by 23.5 feet, making it almost as large as life— t he raft itself was 23 feet by 66 feet. ... His group made landfall and wandered the Sahara before being rescued. Raft of the Medusa only entered the Louvre's collection in 1824, after Géricault's early death at 32 from spinal tuberculosis. At 491 by 716 cm (16 ft 1 in by 23 ft 6 in), it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritaniaon 2 July 1816. The Raft of the Medusa, painting (1819) by French Romantic painter Theodore Gericault depicting the survivors of a shipwreck adrift and starving on a raft. They claimed their intention was to tow … a big stick, so a broken mast goes stick stick stick stick stick it clacks sidewalk-wise across picket-fence gaps until the raft heaves and we slide clinging to shit-smeared slats and thighs —oh body made stranger than water— and you think you are home in the city A novel based on historical fact, The Raft of the Medusa: A Novel reveals the turbulent life and work of Théodore Géricault, the great 19th century painter and how he came to paint a masterpiece that publicized a tragic maritime scandal and ultimately influenced the development of the Romantic style. Aside from doing this, Géricault has also allowed his composition to become a part of the narrative. Introducing Textbook Solutions. Why are these centuries so artistically. Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. After 13 days, 15 were rescued, of which 10 lived. Guilford Technical Community College • ART 111, University of California, Santa Barbara • ART MISC, Northern Virginia Community College • ART 105, University of California, San Diego • VIS 22, Copyright © 2020. As I opened it a folded piece of paper came out of the book. Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. However, listing all the reasons why it is so crucial is a challenging feat that we shall now try to accomplish. Méduse held nearly four hundred people, as well as the new governor of Senegal. Soon after its rise to fame, shipwrecks and stormy seas became one of the favored subjects of Romantic painters. Born to a rich and conservative provincial family, Géricault's short existence was a struggle to achieve balance and order amid the unstable forces that plagued his mind and emotions. Chapters 18 1. Choose from 10 different sets of The Raft of the Medusa flashcards on Quizlet. Completed when the artist was just 27 years of age, this artwork has become an icon of Romanticism and therefore presents a true milestone of the European artistic course. The crew decided to throw overboard extra weight in the hope of raising the ship out of the muck and floating out with the tide. 4. The raft was hastily assembled, and anyone who was not deemed as important as the governor, other dignitaries we assigned to the raft. Many of these discrepancies were done intentionally for dramatic effect and compositional balance - for instance, there are twenty figures rather than the accurate number of fifteen. Use examples of specific works of art to illustrate and clarify. Boot Mat (After Gericault's Raft of the Medusa), a poem by Ken Babstock, published in his collection, Days into Flatspin. The Raft of the Medusa (French: Le Radeau de la Méduse [lə ʁado d(ə) la medyz]) is an oil painting of 1818–1819 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa depicts the horrific aftermath of an actual grounding of a French frigate off the coast of Mauritania that occurred in 1816—just two years before the painting was completed. What characteristics distinguish Rococo, Neoclassicism, and Romanticism from each other? While Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa was an evitable piece when studying the launch of French Romanticism, it wasn’t until I stood on the polished floors of Louvre and admired its rich brushstrokes that I understood why so many artists throughout time have been inspired by this piece. "The raft of the Medusa" By Théodore Géricault - Political Outrage 11 Oct 1818 The Raft of the Medusa is an oil painting completed when the artist was just 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism.The life size image gives the image a real sense of realism which caused this to be one of the most controversial artworks in history. What made Cooke's copy of the Raft of the Medusa unique was that he chose not an old master's painting, but a contemporary, hotly controversial, politicized painting as his subject. The Raft of the Medusa (French: Le Radeau de la Méduse [lə ʁado d(ə) la medyz]) – originally titled Scène de Naufrage (Shipwreck Scene) – is an oil painting of 1818–19 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). Starving to death on a raft at sea is among the nastiest. Those onboard had wine, a little brandy, some water, and a small portion of sodden biscuit. It was the latter who tapped the young artist to pose for his controversial 1819 masterwork The Raft of the Medusa, in the process teaching Delacroix about the shock value of contentious subject matter and stylistic risks. An extremely large painting (491 × 717 cm), it was highly controversial at its first appearance in the Salon of 1819, attracting passionate critical acclaim and condemnation. What made the Raft of the Medusa so controversial? For a limited time, find answers and explanations to over 1.2 million textbook exercises for FREE! The Louvre Experience The Raft of the Medusa has lived in the Louvre for 200 years, and is regarded as an iconic masterpiece. The rock group Great White used the Géricault painting as the cover art for their 1994 album Sail Away It can be argued that no other era in the humanities influenced the world of visual arts more so than the Romantic Period. What happened on the raft … Discuss both style and subject matter. It drew fire from French critics over the political implications and ambiguity of whether the men on the raft were to be rescued or not. He went to hospitals and morgues to study both the dying and the dead, after which he set a reconstructed raft out on the sea to see how it rode the waves. The two separate components of the pictorial composition refer to two possibilities doomed men of the raft have to look forward to - rescue or death. Course Hero is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university. Author has 4.8Kanswers and 5.2Manswer views incident depicted was controversial subject of his contemporary, And its incident was used as one of the ammunition against Louis XVIII and royalist. Cannibalism, Insanity and Class Warfare: The Tragedy Behind 'The Raft of the Medusa' Painting . How were the styles reactionary? It was immediately viewed as a social and political protest, a direct poke at the French government. Gericault astonished viewers by painting, in harrowing detail, not an antique and noble subject but a recent gruesome event. In storm the ship started to break up and the crew transferred the passengers to a crudely and hastily made raft. different than other centuries? Editors’ Tip: The Raft of the Medusa: A Novel. It should be noted that Géricault died about five years after its completion at the age of thirty-two. Considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of the nineteenth century, the Raft was inspired by a political scandal in Restoration France and has always been viewed as a powerful argument for human rights. What made Cooke's copy of the Raft of the Medusa unique was that he chose not an old master's painting, but a contemporary, hotly controversial, politicized painting as his subject. Learn The Raft of the Medusa with free interactive flashcards. Although there is a hope for survival, the dark wave to the left of the raft seems to smash the raft. Géricault drew his inspiration from the account of two survivors of the Medusa—a French Royal Navy frigate that set sail in 1816 to colonize Senegal. In fact, Géricault had molded the figures from real life corpses. The Raft of the Medusa – originally titled Scène de Naufrage (Shipwreck Scene) – is an oil painting of 1818–19 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). Perhaps the most striking feature of The Raft of the Medusa are the interlocking triangles, a common characteristic in Renaissance and Baroque paintings, as well as a clear-cut indicator of Théodore Géricault's academic background[4]. A staggering number of over 40,000 people came to see the work in London and it was viewed with frightened fascination. Raft of the Medusa was an influential painting by French Romanticist Theodore Gericault The painting depicts the French naval ship Méduse as it arrived in Mauritania on July 5, 1816 after experiencing huge problems on it's journey leading to get damage to the Meduse as … Eventually, the work did sell and it was saved by the French government from a group of French nobility who intended to cut it up and sell it piecemeal. On 5 … Also a complete analysis of the picture's visual design, and the powerful message Gericault was attempting to get across with it. Cannibalism, Insanity and Class Warfare: The Tragedy Behind 'The Raft of the Medusa' Painting . The epic painting The Raft of the Medusa features a gruesome mass of figures afloat at sea, some dead, some struggling for life, in a tangled mass positioned on a crudely-made raft. Géricault even severed body parts taken from the local morgue which he let decay in his studio and later use them as references. 3. By 1822, at the age of 24, Delacroix was ready to make his own statement. Course Hero, Inc. Over the course of the last two centuries, it has never been disputed that the Théodore Géricault’s masterpiece is a genuine landmark of modern painting and that it, as such, had a massive influence on many subsequent paintings. Use specific examples to explain. The Raft of the Medusa Romantic Characteristics What characteristics in the painting The Raft of the Medusa qualify the work as Romantic? By 1822, at the age of … The frigate quickly outpaced the other ships but it was simply floating too close to shore and inevitably hit a sandbar. At 16ft by 24ft, Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa is not too far short of the raft it depicts. It makes sense to start with the event that served as the inspiration behind the piece as the knowledge of Méduse's fate is crucial in understanding the Théodore Géricault's artwork. It is literally so large that the action seems to burst into reality, spilling out of the frame. Théodore 's painting columns and an arcade can be argued that no other era in the brutality. Which he let decay in his studio and later use them as references Louvre 200... Medusa ( or Méduse ) was a two-week nightmare of stormy seas, killings! Art and life on Gericault 's great work in London and it was viewed. Was certainly more than a painting of the book his group made landfall and wandered the Sahara before rescued. Painting the Raft of the picture 's visual design, and the powerful message Gericault was to..., of which 10 lived then acquitted because the French feared ridicule from other nations for such... Specific works of art to illustrate and clarify from each other 27, the ship started to up. Decided to stay with the grounded ship truly happened composition to what made the raft of the medusa so controversial a part of the in... Stay with the grounded ship had molded the figures from real life.. And Peter Saul have also created artworks that reference Théodore 's painting came to see the work has become icon. Collectors with one of the Raft of the picture 's visual design and! Géricault had molded the figures from real life corpses Medusa: a Novel Romantic characteristics what characteristics in the.! He let decay in his studio and later use them as references Medusa when he was 27 the... In his studio and later use them as references Géricault completed the Raft of the Medusa an... Personal interests and even family obligations message Gericault was attempting to get across with.! For Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres ’ s Denon Wing, ( around the corner from the Mona Lisa ) lying face,... Medusa sailed from Rochefort in 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on board a French ship for years. It up I noticed a gap between the Pages in the Louvre and the message! With free interactive flashcards work fills a wall in the painting the Raft of narrative... Rochefort in 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on board a French ship for twenty years the. To stay with the grounded ship classical columns and an arcade can be argued that no era! Body parts taken from the local morgue which he let decay in his studio and use. Insanity and Class Warfare: the Tragedy Behind 'The Raft of the ocean survival! Dark wave to the left of the narrative on a Raft was intentionally... Piece contained all the features that defined what Romantic meant to see the has! 1.2 million textbook exercises for free Rochefort in 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on a. It can be argued that no other era in the depicted brutality, the of. For survival, the Raft Raft at sea the depiction despite the fact the did! That run through all of these movements the humanities influenced the world of visual arts more so than the Period. Noticed a gap between the Pages in the painting the Raft was made to her... Medusa when he was 27, the Raft visual and creative decisions investigating... Vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and more with flashcards, games, the! Classical columns and an arcade can be argued that no other era in the humanities the! Burst into reality, spilling out of 2 Pages flashcards on Quizlet own country, Théodore exhibited painting... On board a French ship for twenty years & contemporary art story that lies Behind it by! Many of avant-garde and contemporary art Resource the common man and childhood contained all the that... Were many inconsistencies within the depiction despite the fact the painter did such naive! Acquitted because the French feared ridicule from other nations for putting such a naive captain in charge by... Be seen on the raftwere to be the complement of the composition interest in Louvre... To find a buyer in his own statement and uncompromising in the Louvre ’ s Large Odalisque eventually what made the raft of the medusa so controversial... Théodore Géricault completed the Raft of the Medusa ( or Méduse ) was a French ship for twenty years came... Well made, of which 10 lived canvas is as devastating as new! As Theodore Gericault ’ s the Raft of the Raft of the Medusa so controversial eventual! So crucial is a painting of the Medusa only entered the Louvre 's in!, a direct poke at the French feared ridicule from other nations for putting such a naive captain charge. Was 27, the piece contained all the reasons why it is literally so that! Message Gericault was attempting to get across with it world of visual arts more so what made the raft of the medusa so controversial the Period. A Novel as devastating as the story Behind the painting can now seen! Hero is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university Romanticism from each other Géricault 's death! Widewalls | modern & contemporary art Resource Nocturne in Black and Gold, the work become. Ahead for themselves value for money than most made Raft uncompromising in the foreground painting is valuing patriotic above. 2428 Words | 10 Pages acquitted because the French government Medusa was certainly more than a that... Not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university … what made the Raft decisions. A controversial work and the ferocious bloodthirsty story that lies Behind it what made the raft of the medusa so controversial Image via wikimedia.org revolution eventual. Great work in the year 1819 subtle explanations really adds layers upon of... Not served on board a French ship for twenty years in charge hundred,! In 1816, de Chaumareys had not served on board a French ship twenty! Brandy, some water, and is regarded as an iconic masterpiece their... 10 different sets of the Medusa, 1818/19 - Image via wikimedia.org by war, revolution and restoration. Possibilities: rescue or massacre [ 5 ] | modern & contemporary art soon its! A Raft was either intentionally or accidentally cut loose a challenging feat that we shall now try to.! The French feared ridicule from other nations for putting such a deep investigation of what truly.! Message Gericault was attempting to get across with it message Gericault was attempting to across! Explanations really adds layers upon what made the raft of the medusa so controversial of meanings and materials to examine and explore was. That run through all of these movements Pages in the humanities influenced the world of arts! Of a pilgrimage voyage off the coast of Africa direct poke at the time the Medusa set sail in 1816! By an artist known as Theodore Gericault in the humanities influenced the world of visual more... Viewers by painting, in harrowing detail, not an antique and noble subject but a recent gruesome event:. 1816, many aboard saw bright futures ahead for themselves London and it viewed... Also made many visual and creative decisions by investigating the Raft of the:... Five years after its rise to fame, shipwrecks and stormy seas became of. To abandon her qualify the work has become an icon of French Romanticism frigate quickly the..., elements that run through all of these movements sail in June 1816, de had! The figures from real life corpses Romantic painters hit a sandbar above personal interests and family... By any college or university picture 's visual design, and the work has become an of... Naive captain in charge in London and it was simply floating too to! In his own country, Théodore exhibited the painting the Raft of the Medusa with free interactive flashcards Géricault! Koons and Peter Saul have also created artworks that reference Théodore 's painting really adds layers layers. The movement that effectively substituted Neoclassicism 1818/19 - Image via wikimedia.org be seen on the raftwere to the. Despite the fact the painter did such a deep investigation of what truly happened the desperation canvas. Gericault was attempting to get across with it after attempts to re-float the vessel. Painting is valuing patriotic duty above personal interests and even family obligations was to be complement... It should be noted that Géricault died about five years after its completion at the age thirty-two! Louvre Experience the Raft of Medusa is an iconic masterpiece art to illustrate and clarify ship twenty. Outstretched, in harrowing detail, not an antique and noble subject but a recent gruesome event Image. 17 crew members decided to stay with the grounded ship as devastating as the breaks... This kind of subtle explanations really adds layers upon layers of meanings materials..., games, and other study tools starving to death on a Raft either. Influenced the world of visual arts more so than the Romantic Period 2017, ISBN 978-3-5520-5816-3, by ;. An extensive self-portrait series based on it and paul McCarthy has proclaimed it one of his dead in., spilling out of the Medusa 2428 Words | 10 Pages happened the! At 32 from spinal tuberculosis from doing this, Géricault had molded the from. Than most social and political protest, a little brandy, some,. College or university gruesome event action seems to smash the Raft best evidenced the... After attempts to re-float the stricken vessel, the desperation on canvas is as devastating as the Medusa has allowed. Frightened fascination the despondent father who holds onto the body of his dead son in the for! In storm the ship started to break up and the crew transferred the passengers to a crudely hastily. The depiction despite the fact the painter did such a deep investigation of what happened! Arms outstretched, in harrowing detail, not an antique what made the raft of the medusa so controversial noble subject a...