Gericault in Italy

Wheelock Whitney

View Inside Price: $100.00


November 13, 1997
232 pages, 9 1/2 x 10 3/4
200 b/w + 50 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300068030
Cloth

A painter of outstanding originality who was considered one of the founders of the French Romantic School, Théodore Géricault 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 Géricault during this year and assesses the importance of the trip for the rest of his career.

Wheelock Whitney provides the most detailed account to date of the biographical circumstances of the Italian stay, paying particular attention to the artistic milieu in which Géricault found himself in Rome. He assesses Géricault's contact with numerous contemporary artists and in particular the nature of their influence on him—presenting him as a product of his own time and place rather than as a solitary genius. The book discusses and reproduces almost every painting and drawing done by Géricault during this period: his copies after the antique and earlier masters; his works on themes of contemporary Italian genre; 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. The book not only sheds light on a hitherto unexamined period of Géricault's life but also illuminates 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.

Wheelock Whitney is an independent scholar who writes regularly on French nineteenth-century art.

"This book brings you on intimate terms with genius."—Sunday Telegraph

"This fascinating book depicts a key man in a transitional age of French art, combining knowledge of the classical and neoclassical past with a new age's passion for both realism and the exotic, as befits a painter considered one of the founders of the French Romantic School."—Byron Ireland, Day by Day