Head of a Drowned Man, Théodore Géricault


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Head of a Drowned Man, macabre painting by Théodore Géricault

Théodore Géricault's "Head of a Drowned Man" is a compelling testament to the artist's commitment to capturing the profound and often haunting aspects of the human condition. Painted around 1818-1819, during a period when Géricault was deeply engrossed in themes of mortality and the darker facets of life, this artwork exemplifies the Romantic movement's exploration of intense emotions and the macabre.

The painting, executed with striking realism, centers on a decapitated head, a stark and unsettling subject. Géricault's meticulous attention to detail is evident in the rendering of the head's pale, lifeless skin and the tousled hair. The vacant eyes, devoid of vitality, add to the eerie atmosphere. This disturbing image confronts viewers with the stark reality of death and its visceral aftermath, challenging conventional notions of beauty and aesthetics.

"Head of a Drowned Man" is a poignant reminder of the artist's fascination with the dramatic and emotional aspects of human existence. It can be seen as a precursor to Géricault's later masterpiece, "The Raft of the Medusa," which delved into themes of suffering, survival, and despair.

Géricault's portrayal of the drowned man's head, while unsettling, encapsulates his commitment to artistic exploration and his desire to evoke genuine emotional responses in viewers. This painting remains a testament to the power of art to confront the darker aspects of life, reminding us of our own mortality and the fragility of the human experience.

Théodore Géricault -Artist Profile

Théodore Géricault (1791–1824) was a pioneering French Romantic painter known for his dramatic and emotionally charged works. Born in Rouen, France, he displayed artistic talent from an early age and received formal training in Paris.

Géricault's artistic career was marked by a relentless pursuit of depicting intense human emotions and the human condition. His masterpiece, "The Raft of the Medusa" (1819), brought him widespread acclaim. The painting vividly depicted the harrowing experiences of survivors from a shipwreck, drawing attention to themes of survival, desperation, and human endurance.

Throughout his short life, Géricault displayed a keen interest in the psychology of his subjects, and this fascination extended to his equestrian portraits, particularly "The Officer of the Imperial Guard" and "The Charging Chasseur." These works captured not only the physicality of horses but also the psychology of their riders.

Géricault's dedication to exploring the emotional depth of his subjects and his innovative use of light and color influenced subsequent generations of artists, notably the Impressionists. His works remain celebrated for their powerful portrayal of human experiences and their lasting impact on the evolution of Romantic and Realist art.

Tragically, Géricault's life was cut short at the age of 32 due to illness, but his legacy endures as one of the pioneers of 19th-century French Romanticism and a master of capturing the intensity of human emotion in art.

Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame).

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All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.



All orders for unframed fine art prints and original paintings are dispatched within 2 working days of receipt of payment.

Orders for custom framed prints are dispatched within 4 working days.

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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

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Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

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  • Printed and framed in-house
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We have invested in the latest wide format print technology to produce museum quality giclee prints utilising the highest quality pigment inks to give outstanding colour reproduction.

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Museum quality archival fine art papers

We print on the finest quality fine art papers with textured, smooth and lustre finishes for prints which last a lifetime. From aceo to 40x80 inch large format, every print has our lifetime quality guarantee.

Solid wood frames, cotton canvas3

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 All of the wood for our canvas panels and frames is responsibly sourced from managed forests. Our cotton canvas is completely seedless for the highest quality reproduction possible.

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Have your gift wrapped

Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

Gift Wrap Any Order - With Personalised Message


This was a present for my wife and she loves it. The quality is very good. Thanks for your excellent service.

Fantastic packaging and a stunning print. Thank you!

Great quality and a good idea to include a 'free gift' mini-pic to show what the other finishes are like.

Really excellent print quality! I have just had my print framed and it looks great thank you

This arrived quickly and is great quality, thank you! :)

My art print arrived quickly and in excellent condition! Very high quality print! Thank you!!

love my print! Very fast professional service Thank you very much

I ordered the canvas panel as a gift for my sister and she was delighted the canvas is really good quality and perfectly stretched. The finish on the back was really profesionally done too

Amazing print well printed and a reasonable price

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