Analysis Of Theodore Gericault 's Painting And Raft Of The Medusa

951 Words Nov 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Art is meant to capture the viewer’s attention and affect them on a deep level. Many times, it leads the audience to examine human beings at a rudimentary state. In Théodore Géricault’s painting, Raft of the Medusa, 1818-1819, Oil on canvas, the viewer does exactly that. In his painting, about 20 men are strewn on a makeshift raft from the remnants of their ship. Some are dead and some are franticly waving pieces of cloth in the air at a ship in the horizon. Each man has an intense look on his face. A strong wind is blowing what is remaining of the sail. The water surrounding them is choppy and dark as is the sky. Géricault uses composition, pose, light/shadow, and color in his artwork to display man’s two responses to chaos: despair or hope. The composition in this painting is not one of stable organization. The bodies of the dead are entangled with those of the living, which produces a very desperate situation. However, the majority of the dead bodies are located in the lower left of the scene. This creates a division in the painting. The men that have given up hope are located in that lower left area with the deceased, while the men who are still fighting for their lives are clumped together in the upper right of the scene. In conclusion, the painting as a whole is compacted with movement whether it is the crashing waves, the optimistic men in the upper right corner trying to flag down help or simply the dead bodies beating up against the boat. Pose plays a very big…

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