Gericault, was born in 1791 and died in 1824. He was greatly influenced
by the work of Michelangelo and other Italian Renaissance painters, as
well as that of Peter Paul Rubens. Gericault's paintings began to exhibit
qualities that set him apart from other neoclassical French painters as
David. His Charging Chasseur and Wounded Cuirassier display
violent action, dramatic color, and a bold design that evoke powerful emotion.
His characteristics attributes culminate in his overpowering and immense
canvas depicting the Raft of the Medusa, a turbulent painting of
men at sea that are shipwrecked and dying. The painting's disturbing combination
of idealized figures and realistically depicted agony, as well as its gigantic
size and graphic detail, aroused a storm of controversy between neoclassical
and romantic artists. Its depiction of a politically volatile scandal that
happened due to government negligence added to the controversy. This brings
about the start of French Romanticism. He later went to England, where
he painted horses, modeled small figures and made excellent lithographs.