Gericault in Italy
A painter of outstanding originality who was considered one of the founders of the French Romantic School, Theodore Gericault left Paris in late 1816 ... Show synopsis A painter of outstanding originality who was considered one of the founders of the French Romantic School, Theodore Gericault left Paris in late 1816, at the age of twenty-five, and spent the next year in Italy, making an extraordinary series of works in a variety of media. This beautiful book studies the work produced by Gericault during this year and assesses the importance of the trip for the rest of his career. The book discusses and reproduces almost every painting and drawing done by Gericault during this period: his copies after the antique and earlier masters; his works on themes of contemporary Italian genre (an interest that made him almost unique among French artists of the period); the works on mythological and erotic themes; and his paramount Italian project - the series of works on the annual race of riderless horses down the Roman Corso, which have been organized here for the first time to illustrate fully the project's gradual development from the depiction of a scene Gericault actually observed into a timeless if essentially classical image of heroic struggle. The book sheds light not only on a hitherto unexamined period of Gericault's life but also on the efforts of a key figure in a transitional period of French art to come to grips with the classical and neoclassical past while embracing the new century's passions for the exotic and the real.