The major French romantic in Germany
Théodore Géricault (1791-1824), female Portrait. 1820. Photo: Wikipedia
The Schirn museum in Frankfurt will hold the first German exhibition exclusively dedicated to Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). It will firmly center on two key sets of themes that the major French Romantic painter addressed: the physical suffering of modern man, as well as psychological torment . This completely new way of representing existential situations, of madness and illness, of suffering and death, bear witness to Géricault’s especially modern thrust, and it gives subject matter otherwise associated with repugnance and disgust the status of profound images that are troublingly contemporary. Treading a thin line between the Romantic love of horror and the unsentimental eye of science, with his images of madness and death, Géricault played a key role in the constitution and visualization of the modern individual. In dialog with the works of his contemporaries, such as Francisco de Goya, Johann Heinrich Füssli or Adolph Menzel, the exhibition expounds how the traditional view of Realism and Romanticism as diametrically opposing epoch-making styles is by no means tenable.