Gericault in Italy

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 25-year-old French painter Theodore Gericault was already a gold medal winner at the 1812 Paris Salon and would soon acquire fame for his 1819 "Raft of the Medusa" when he traveled to Italy in 1816 to experience ancient and Renaissance art. The drawings and paintings from that year-long sojourn are significant because they represent a pivotal point in a major artist's tragically short lifehe died at age 32 of a tubercular spinal infection. This scholarly book analyzes individual examples of Gericault's developing Romantic style by examining thematic and technical influences from the classical and neoclassical past, his contemporary world, and sculpture as well as painting. Art historian Whitney began researching Gericault for a doctoral thesis at the Courtauld Institute. Since he focuses on just one year in Gericault's life, nonspecialists desiring a broader perspective should also have access to Lorenz Eitner's Gericault: His Life and Work (Orbis, 1983). Recommended for academic libraries.Anne Marie Lane, American Heritage Ctr., Laramie, Wy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300068030
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 10.02 (w) x 11.56 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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