Today’s birthday is Gericault’s
Who lived with passion and intensity.
“The Raft of the Medusa” shows
His skill and this propensity.
Based on an actual shipwreck in 1818 of a French ship en route to Senegal, “The Raft of the Medusa” has been described as a metaphor of man’s inhumanity to man. Gericault, a staunch abolitionist, depicted this lurid, disturbing scene to express his outrage at the slave trade of the Bourbon regime. He even added three black figures just before completing this masterpiece to make his moral judgment inescapable.