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The following text was written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California:
Theodore Gericault was born in Rouen on September 26,1791. From his youth, he showed a taste for drawing and for horses. He was educated at the Lycee Louis-le-Grand. He studied under Carle Vernet, in whose studio he met an elegant, witty and wordly group gathered around the master. Two years later, he left to study in the studio of Guerin; he was strongly influenced as well by the work of Rubens.
The Salon of 1812 exhibited a painting and his reputation was immediately established. In 1816 his visit to Italy left a profound effect on his work, particularly in separating him from the academic traditions of his early training. He returned to Paris in the fall of 1817 and lived in a house in Montmartre. He became friendly with Dr. Georget, who later commissioned an extraordinary series of portraits of insane people.
Gericault went to London in 1820, discouraged and exhausted, and stayed for two years, painting and doing several series of lithographs. He returned to Paris where his health gave way after much dissipation. At the same time he produced many sketches and some sculpture. He died in Paris on January 18, 1824 in great physical pain from injuries he had sustained two years before when he had fallen off his horse.
New York World's Fair 1940, Masterpieces of Art, Catalogue
Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists.