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Portrait of a Young Man: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
A significant portion of Géricault's surviving oils are head and shoulder portrait studies such as this splendid example. Their identification as portraits is accurate insofar as they record the countenance of a sitter or model, but their purpose is often unclear. Géricault might have intended this study as a gift to a relative or studio confrère, similar to the tokens often exchanged by artists during the early 19th century. Given its likely date of execution, this painting might also be an exercise preparing the artist for two of his most important projects, The Raft of the Medusa (1819) and a series of portraits of mental patients commissioned by Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pioneer of humane treatment for the insane.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009