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Study for The Raft of the Medusa

Théodore Géricault

(1791 - 1824) | 890.50

Date : Circa 1818 | Medium : Quill and brown ink drawing on cream paper

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen conserves an unparalleled collection relating to the monumental painting The Raft of the Medusa that Géricault exhibited at the 1819 Paris Salon. The collection includes several composition studies executed using various techniques, from black lead sketches to more structured quill drawings that use washes to provide solid structure.

These drawings display the progressive development of an idea through which the painter explores a whole range of solutions before settling on the final layout. This particular drawing represents a relatively advanced stage of preparatory work where the artist has already established the definitive orientation of the composition and decided on the general poses of many of the figures. The drawing gallery also includes studies of isolated figures from this work, executed later still in its development.