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The Shipwreck of the Medusa

1820
19th century
17.5 cm x 24.7 cm (6 7/8 in. x 9 3/4 in.)

Jean-Louis-Andre-Théodore Géricault and Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet (1791 - 1824) Primary
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault (Rouen, 1791 - 1824, Paris) co-primary
Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet (Paris, 1792 - 1845, Paris) co-primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 2000
Accession Number: 2000.19

Provoked by the wreck of a French naval vessel and the loss of most of her crew, The Shipwreck of the Medusa is Géricault most ambitious work and a landmark of early modern painting. In 1820 Géricault took this monumental canvas to England for a traveling exhibition. As part of the promotional effort, he collaborated with the accomplished early lithographer Charlet to produce for visitors this small-scale reproduction of the painting. If modest as an example of early lithography, the print is a fascinating precursor of the contemporary poster and postcard as an exhibition souvenir. Because of its more ephemeral nature and function, it is today an uncommon print.

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