21 Works, September 26th. is Théodore Géricault’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #211

Théodore Géricault (1791–1824)
Riderless Horse Race, c. 1817

Oil on canvas
Height: 45 cm (17.7 in); Width: 60 cm (23.6 in)
Louvre Museum

The Race of the Riderless Horses is based on a genuine event that Gericault witnessed, in which riderless Barbary horses were encouraged to race each other down the Via del Corso (corso meaning race). Barbary horses were feisty and spirited animals and the riderless beasts galloping down the street would be unbroken and sometimes entirely unused to the presence of people. Carnival in Rome would end with the racing, but after an unwary spectator was trampled and killed in 1874 the practise stopped and the carnival itself went into decline (until recently, Carnival was resurrected in 2008!). However, while the practice was still in its heyday, the horse-loving Gericault saw the spectacle and was awed by the demonstration of power and might as the horses surged past, fighting for supremacy. More on this painting

Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault (26 September 1791–26 January 1824) was a French painter and lithographer, whose best-known painting is The Raft of the Medusa (See below). Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement…

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Author: Zaidan Art Blog

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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