The J. Paul Getty Museum

Study of a Model

Object Details

Title:

Study of a Model

Artist/Maker:

Théodore Géricault (French, 1791 - 1824)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1818–1819

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

85.PA.407

Dimensions:

47 × 38.7 cm (18 1/2 × 15 1/4 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

This portrait was made as a study for Théodore Géricault's most famous painting, The Raft of the Medusa, made in 1819 and now in the Louvre. In a clear case of ineptitude, the ship named Medusa foundered in the sea off the coast of Africa in 1816. A raft with 140 passengers drifted for thirteen days before being rescued; only fifteen people survived. In preparation for his disturbing and controversial painting of the incident, Géricault made many studies from life, like this one, to achieve a sense of realism and specificity.

The sitter wears a shirt similar to those worn by the survivors of the Medusa. Géricault captured the man's character with great sympathy and spontaneity; his watery eyes do not focus on anything outside the canvas but appear to express an internal torment. Shades of brown, gray, and beige blend together to imitate his dark complexion. Dabs of white and beige paint are used to indicate reflective light in his eyes and on the tip of his nose, his bottom lip, and his chin.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1879 -

Georges Duplessis, 1834 - 1899 (Paris, France)

-

Pierre Dubaut, 1886 - 1968 (Paris, France)

by 1953 - 1967

Hans Eduard Bühler, 1893 - 1967 (Schloss Berg-am-Irchel, Winterthur, Switzerland), by inheritance to his heirs, 1967.
Source: A label on the reverse of the painting indicates that Col. [Hans Eduard] Bühler was the lender to the 1953 Winterthur exhibition.

1967 - 1985

Heirs of Hans Eduard Bühler, 1893 - 1967 (Schloss Berg-am-Irchel, Winterthur, Switzerland) [sold, Bühler sale, Christie's, London, November 15, 1985, lot 25, through Eugene Thaw to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Theodore Géricault, 1791 - 1824 (August 30 to November 8, 1953)
  • Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library (Winterthur), August 30 to November 8, 1953
De Géricault à Matisse: Chefs-d'oeuvre français des collections suisses (March to May, 1959)
  • Musée du Petit Palais (Paris), March to May 1959
Die Welt des Impressionismus (June 29 to September 29, 1963)
  • Museum zu Allerheiligen (Schaffhausen), June 29 to September 29, 1963
Weltkulturen und moderne Kunst (June 16 to September 30, 1972)
  • Haus der Kunst (Munich), June 16 to September 30, 1972
Géricault: Romantic Paintings and Drawings (January 28 to March 26, 1989)
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco), January 28 to March 26, 1989
Géricault (October 10, 1991 to January 6, 1992)
  • Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (Paris), October 10, 1991 to January 6, 1992
Constable to Delacroix: British Art and the French Romantics (February 5, 2003 to January 4, 2004)
  • Tate Britain (London), February 5 to May 11, 2003
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), June 8 to September 7, 2003
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), October 7, 2003 to January 4, 2004
Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism (October 7, 2003 to January 4, 2004)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), October 7, 2003 to January 4, 2004
Géricault: Images of Life and Death (October 17, 2013 to May 25, 2014)
  • Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt), October 17, 2013 to January 26, 2014
  • Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Gand), February 21 to May 25, 2014
Historias Afro-Atlanticas (June 28 to October 21, 2018)
  • Museu de Arte de São Paulo, June 28 to October 21, 2018
Posing Modernity: The Black Muse from Manet to Matisse and Beyond / Le Modèle noir, de Géricault à Matisse (October 24, 2018 to July 21, 2019)
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), March 25 to July 21, 2019
Bibliography
Bibliography

Clément, Charles. Géricault: Étude biographique et critique avec le catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre du maître. 3rd ed. (Paris: Didier, 1879; repr., Paris: Léonce Laget, 1973), pp. 427, 471, no. 104 bis.

Dubaut, Pierre, and Gotthard Jedlicka, eds. Théodore Géricault, 1791-1824, exh. cat. (Winterthur: Kunstmuseum, 1953), p. 34, no. 86, pl. 17.

Eitner, Lorenz. "Géricault at Winterthur." Burlington Magazine 96, no. 617 (August 1954), pp. 255, 258, fig. 23.

Wichmann, Siegfried. "Die Gericault-Ausstellung in Winterthur." Kunstchronik 7, no. 3 (March 1954), pp. 62, 63.

Dubaut, Pierre, and Peter Nathan. Géricault, 1791-1824: Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen; Sammlung Hans E. Bühler (Winterthur: Verlag Buchdruckerei Winterthur, 1956), p. 12, no. 22, ill.

Daulte, François, ed. De Géricault à Matisse: Chefs-d'oeuvre français des collections suisses, exh. cat. (Paris: Petit Palais, 1959), unpaginated, no. 62.

Lem, F. H. "Le thème du nègre dans l'art de Géricault." L'Arte, n.s., 27, nos. 1/2 (January-June 1962), pp. 24-25, fig. 4.

Del Guercio, Antonio. Géricault (Milan: Edizioni per il Club del Libro, 1963), p. 151, pl. 92.

Hüttinger, Eduard, ed. Die Welt des Impressionismus, exh. cat. (Schaffhausen: Museum zu Allerheiligen, 1963), p. 22, no. 48.

Berger, Klaus, and Diane Chalmers Johnson. "Art as Confrontation: The Black Man in the Work of Géricault." Massachusetts Review 10, no. 2 (Spring 1969), pp. 311, 327, fig. 13.

Eitner, Lorenz, ed. Géricault, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1971), p. 157, under no. 113.

Eitner, Lorenz. Géricault's Raft of the Medusa (London: Phaidon, 1972), p. 172, no. 106, pl. 105.

Wichmann, Siegfried, et al, eds. Weltkulturen und moderne Kunst, exh. cat. (Munich: Haus der Kunst, 1972), pp. 29, 32, 35, no. 5, ill., entry by Siegfried Wichmann.

Thuillier, Jacques, and Philippe Grunchec. Tout l'oeuvre peint de Géricault (Paris: Flammarion, 1978), pp. 112-13, no. 166, pl. 46.

Grunchec, Philippe, ed. Géricault, exh. cat. Benedetta Origo, trans. (Rome: Villa Medici, with Edizioni dell'Elefante, 1979), pp. 231-32, under no. 25, fig. A.

Eitner, Lorenz E. A. Géricault: His Life and Work (London: Orbis, 1983), pp. 182, 185, fig. 174.

"Une passion pour Géricault." Connaissance des arts, no. 405 (November 1985), p. 31.

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Théodore Géricault: The Hans E. Bühler Collection of Pictures, Drawings and Lithographs. November 15, 1985, pp. 46-47, lot 25, ill.

"Quand Géricault paraît." Connaissance des arts, no. 407 (January 1986), p. 13, ill.

Grunchec, Philippe. "Géricault: Les Cotes enfin fixées." Beaux Arts Magazine, no. 32 (February 1986), pp. 28-29, fig. 4.

Hook, Philip. "The Hans E. Bühler Collection of Works by Géricault." Christie's Review of the Season (1986), pp. 48-49, ill.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 220, no. 129, ill.

Lüthy, Hans A. "Master Drawings by Géricault." Master Drawings 23/24, no. 4 (1985-86), p. 566.

Wintersgill, Donald. "The Bühler-Géricault Sale." Art & Auction 8, no. 7 (January 1986), p. 114.

Hoving, Thomas. "Money and Masterpieces." Connoisseur 216, no. 899 (December 1986), p. 98.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 36, ill.

Honour, Hugh. The Image of the Black in Western Art. Vol. 4, From the American Revolution to World War I (Houston: Menil Foundation, with Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 32-33, 252n102, fig. 17.

Eitner, Lorenz E. A., and Steven A. Nash, eds. Géricault, 1791-1824, exh. cat. (San Francisco: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1989), pp. 25, 61, no. 42, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 123, ill.

Rota, Italo, and Jean-Thierry Bloch, eds. Géricault, exh. cat. (Paris: Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, with Réunion des musées nationaux, 1991), pp. 169, 375, no. 173, fig. 276, entry by Sylvain Laveissière.

McCorquodale, Charles. "Exhibition Reviews: Géricault at the Grand Palais." Apollo, n.s., 135, no. 360 (February 1992), p. 126.

Michel, Régis. Géricault: L'Invention du réel (Paris: Gallimard, with Réunion des musées nationaux, 1992), pp. 84, 170, ill.

Bazin, Germain. Théodore Géricault: Étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 5, Le retour à Paris: Synthèse d'expériences plastiques (Paris: Wildenstein Institute, 1992), pp. 80, 99, 119, 258-59, no. 1767, ill. facing p. 98.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), unpaginated, no. 35, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Zerner, Henri. "Le portrait, plus ou moins." In Géricault. Régis Michel, ed. 2 vols. (Paris: La documentation française, 1996), vol. 1, pp. 331-32, 390, fig. 182.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 133, ill.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 50, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 86-87, no. 48, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Zerner, Henri. Géricault (Paris: Editions Carré, 1997), pp. 83-85, fig. 22.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 134, ill.

Sotheby's, New York. 19th Century European Art. April 24, 2002, under lot 63, fig. 2.

Grigsby, Darcy Grimaldo. Extremities: Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 230, fig. 170.

Noon, Patrick, et al. Constable to Delacroix: British Art and the French Romantics, exh. cat. (London: Tate, 2003), pp. 80-81, no. 23, ill.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003), pp. 86-87, no. 47, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Rosenberg, Pierre. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Susan Wise, trans. (Milan: Skira, 2006), p. 166, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 134, ill.

Honour, Hugh. "Studies." In The Image of the Black in Western Art. David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds. Vol. 4, From the American Revolution to World War I. Part 2, Black Models and White Myths (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 37-38, 300n96, fig. 17.

Lemeux-Fraitot, Sidonie. "Géricault: Un maître de la tête d'étude." In Géricault au coeur de la création romantique: études pour 'Le Radeau de la Méduse,' exh. cat. Bruno Chenique et al, eds. (Clermont-Ferrand: Musée d'art Roger-Quilliot, 2012), pp. 44, 47.

Chenique, Bruno, et al, eds. Géricault au coeur de la création romantique: Études pour 'Le Radeau de la Méduse,' exh. cat. (Clermont-Ferrand: Musée d'art Roger-Quilliot, 2012), p. 74, fig. 2; pp. 198, 204, fig. 17, entry by Bruno Chenique.

Bindman, David. Review of Géricault: Bilder auf Leben und Tod. Frankfurt, Ghent. Burlington Magazine 156, no. 1330 (January 2014), p. 56, fig. 73.

Hindlip, Charles. An Auctioneer's Lot: Triumphs and Disasters at Christie's (London: Third Millenium Publishing, 2016), p. 141, ill.

"6. Portraits." In Histórias afro-atlânticas, exh. cat. Vol. 1, Catalogo. Adriano Pedrosa et al., eds. (São Paulo : Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, MASP : Instituto Tomie Ohtake, 2018), pp. 245, 267, fig. 350.

Guégan, Stéphane. "Révolution dans la Révolution (1788-1848)." In Le Modèle Noir: De Géricault à Matisse, exh. cat. Cécile Debray, Stéphane Guégan, Denise M. Murrell, et al., eds. (Paris: Musée d'Orsay, with Flammarion, 2019), pp. 70, 73, fig. 44, ill.

Debray, Cécile, Stéphane Guégan, Denise M. Murrell, et al., eds. Le Modèle Noir: De Géricault à Matisse, exh. cat. (Paris: Musée d'Orsay, with Flammarion, 2019), pp. 73, 356, no. 44, ill.

Pullins, David. Review of Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today. Wallach Art Gallery; The Black Model from Géricault to Matisse. Musée d'Orsay. Burlington Magazine 161, no. 1396 (July 2019), p. 593.