ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS -
So there was this dude, who was like the son of some rich guy, and he got promoted to like captain, even though he was a little snotface. Didn’t know shit about ships and shit. So they hit like a sandbar or some shit, but the situation wasn’t even really that dire. But anyway, people panicked and shit i think, and got on this tiny raft, but then some more things went wrong, and before you knew it, mad mothefuckers were stuck on this raft, that was half in the water anyway. Well, by the time they found these dudes, they had eaten each other and done other horrible things, like have a massive fight that picked off the weak. Shit was intense. Anyway, there was a trial for the captain, but he got off with barely any punishment. That shit ain’t right. Anyway, this dude Gericault, made like a painting of it, to dramatize the event, people went nuts for it. Like remember when wikileaks happened? Same idea.
Anyway, this painting is mad effective at being dramatic. It’s like the visual equivalent of hearing the law & order DUHN DUHN. Like, do you see how the use of contrast, creates lines of shadow along the legs, arms and bodies of the desperate dudes? And all those lines converge to one point, with the dude signalling some far off unseen ship. The use of light and shadow in this painting, is some classic masterful shit. Most of the values are mostly the same in the heap of people, but you got that burst of sun light right on the horizon, and the yellow sky, that really silhuoette’s the signaler. Did you notice how the figures in the lower half or painted in light amber hues, but the signaler is actually a golden brown? This also might hint at a racial subtext. Fuhreal, this painting is dope.
Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1819
Things to think about when studying:
- What historical event does Géricault depict?
- How does he use composition and other formal elements to heighten the drama of the work?