From [Delacroix](https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/702474) to [Manet](https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/olympia/ywFEI4rxgCSO1Q?hl=en), some of the best known artists of the 19th century featured Black subjects in their paintings, based on Black models. In 1800s Paris, modeling was an often-unwelcoming profession to people of color, and few could earn a living this way. However, one model named Joseph was sought after by some of the most renowned painters in Paris. He became a registered model at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and paved the way for future Black models.\n\nGetty’s new online exhibition, *Study of the Model Joseph, Nineteenth-Century Paris, and Romanticism*, dives into the life of Joseph: artist’s model, Haitian immigrant to Paris, and most famously, muse to painter and abolitionist Théodore Géricault. Google Arts & Culture partnered with Getty to feature the digital exhibit on its [Black History and Cultures hub](https://artsandculture.google.com/project/black-history-and-culture). \n\nJoseph was best-known for posing as the model for the waving figure at the front of the raft in [Géricault’s *The Raft of the Medusa*](https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010059199). The online presentation highlights details from Géricault’s *Study of the Model Joseph*, which was one of the studies Géricault painted in preparation for *The Raft of the Medusa* and is currently on view at the Getty Museum. Despite Joseph’s celebrity status in Paris during his lifetime, there are few written records about his life. Some sources, mostly in French, were compiled in the Musèe D’Orsay’s 2019 catalogue of the exhibition *Le Modèle noir de Géricault à Matisse* (*The Black Model from Géricault to Matisse*). Getty’s Google Arts & Culture exhibit brings together sources on Joseph’s life, alongside a broader look at the lives of free Black immigrants, artists, and intellectuals in 19th-century Paris.\n\nExplore [Study of the Model Joseph, Nineteenth-Century Paris, and Romanticism](https://artsandculture.google.com/story/YQVBQHr1FmMF-Q) on Google Arts & Culture.