Unconditionally, Guérin (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica).

Unconditionally, the world is rich with talented people, whose work continually reminds of themselves. One of these representatives is Theodore Gericault. This French artist combined the features of classicism, romanticism, and realism. One of his paintings The Raft of Medusa remains a unique work of art.The artist was born in Rouen in 1791. His family was well-off, but the child was early placed in a boarding school where he studied. The passion for drawing horses led him to the teacher Claude Vernet, then to Pierre Guérin (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). He grew up at a time when France was full of hope when sincere patriotic and dramatic feelings overwhelmed the people. Nobody would say that the years from the Great French Revolution to the establishment of Napoleon’s empire and defeat in his war with Russia were serene (Durbin, 2007). All these moods, strong passions that worried the whole country absorbed the young Theodore, who would embody them in his canvases later.Gericault observed the processes that participated in public life. He was a witness and an active participant in violent events, which followed the triumph and fall of Napoleon. He has sensed and guessed many things in the contradictory facts of those years (Puchko, 2015). Sometimes he was wrong in assessing the phenomena, but he never allowed these delusions to crept into creativity. It is known that the artist spent many hours in morgues and also talked with doctors to find out what changes occur in the body of a person who is forced to starve and dispense without water for a long time for the reliability of all the details of his work (National Gallery of Art). The picture became a visiting card of the master’s work. The plot is not an invention of the artist. It is a real story. The picture tells of a shipwreck, which happened to the ship “Medusa.” Numerous passengers and crew were rescued on a raft, which for almost two weeks wore on the sea. People were exhausted without food and drink, and they died (Durbin, 2007). Several times they saw ships in the distance, but they passed by without noticing them. The hope of salvation died. Finally, the unfortunates were found and raised on the saving board. In the remaining 15 people left from 140, sailing on the Medusa (Puchko, 2015). The canvas agitated the French capital. No one has portrayed death so realistically before this moment.The picture was a response to the angry reaction of society, which was outraged by the cowardice of the leaders of the marine expedition, which led to the death of more than a hundred sailors and passengers with their families (National Gallery of Art). Some perceived it as a protest against the existing way of political nature. The accent was made on the fact that the inexperienced captain of the Medusa was taken to the ship on patronage. Therefore, corruption has been to blame for what happened. The master was able to depict the whole tragedy of the situation. He does not give any hope for a successful outcome of history. The raging sea, the gloomy sky, despair and a sense of impending catastrophe are the constituents of the plot that create an oppressive atmosphere (Durbin, 2007).For a long time, it caused raptures and undisguised public interest. The color scale of the picture is severe and gloomy. Occasionally spots of bright light appear in some places. The image style, accuracy, and sculpture in the drawing of human bodies indicate that the work is done in the artistic manner of classicism (Puchko, 2015). However, the plot of the picture is modern and conflictual. Therefore, this aspect makes it possible to attribute this work to the number of masterpieces of romanticism. For the first time, the artist showed dynamically changing psychological states of people, a violent, dramatic conflict with the elements (Laborie).All the characters Gericault placed on the near plan. Tired, exhausted people on the raft noticed the approach of the ship. Gericault worked on his work for a long time. He drew every detail of the canvas carefully. The artist made an incalculable amount of sketches. He approached responsibly to the image of the real participants of the incident, who managed to survive (National Gallery of Art). In the picture, there is no central character. Everyone has their own emotions and their strengths. Each of them has a different behavior. Some are half dead, while others have lost their reason and do not react to what is happening. Unfortunately, there is a small number of those who have a hope for salvation. Moreover, impressive sizes of the canvas fascinate the audience. Despite the fact that the criticism of the picture was adopted restrainedly, it was a huge success in England, because, in this masterpiece, Géricault first raised the theme of humanity to the representatives of romanticism. In 1824, the painting became a landmark of the Paris Louvre (Puchko, 2015). The artist lived a short but bright life. His paintings allow viewers to focus on stressful situations and allow fantasies to develop.Thus, Theodore Gericault and his work The Raft of Medusa is one of the most exciting and dynamic paintings. A vast dark canvas reflects hopelessness and injustice. It is the artist’s response to this terrible event and the desire to show it to the whole world which compels viewers to study this story and draw their conclusions.

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