Head of a Guillotined Man (1818-19), Théodore Géricault

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Head of a Guillotined Man, macabre painting by Théodore Géricault

Théodore Géricault's "Head of a Guillotined Man" is a profoundly evocative painting that delves into the somber and gruesome realities of the French Revolution, particularly the Reign of Terror in the late 18th century. Created in 1818, this artwork stands as a testament to Géricault's unwavering commitment to exploring the darker aspects of the human condition.

The painting features a severed head, a graphic and unsettling subject that serves as a visceral reminder of the brutal consequences of political upheaval. Géricault's meticulous attention to detail is evident in the depiction of the lifeless face, with its pallid skin and vacant, almost lifeless eyes. The starkness of the composition and the stark contrast between light and shadow accentuate the grim nature of the subject.

"Head of a Guillotined Man" is a poignant reflection of Géricault's fascination with the visceral and macabre. It serves as a precursor to his later masterpiece, "The Raft of the Medusa," which explored themes of suffering, despair, and survival.

Géricault's portrayal of the severed head is a stark and unsettling reminder of the human capacity for cruelty and the high cost of political upheaval. It stands as a testament to the power of art to confront the darker aspects of history and the human experience, challenging viewers to confront the grim realities of the past and the enduring legacy of violence and revolution.

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.



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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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