The Easel

Death barge life

When Géricault painted his epic The Raft of the Medusa in 1818, he wanted to raise his profile with a painting that shocked. He succeeded. What makes us, still, recoil from this huge work? The “gore shock value” of dead and dying on the drifting raft is only one part. “These people are all in various stages of fight and defeat. [They face] the challenge of endurance when hope is removed, and the human necessity to locate hope again”.