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Head of a Guillotined Man

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.

Date:

1818/19

Artist:

Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault
French, 1791-1824

About this artwork

Théodore Géricault painted this macabre image directly from life. The artist is known to have acquired corpses from his local morgue to study anatomy and the effects of decomposition. Surrounding himself with the stench of decay, he produced several paintings of decapitated heads and severed limbs. By depicting this graying and lifeless head upon on a blood-stained cloth laid over a wooden table, Géricault also referenced—perhaps ironically—the long history of still-life painting in Western art. The head probably belonged to a convicted criminal. At that time in France, executions were carried out by the guillotine, a bladed device that sliced through the necks of its victims.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Painting and Sculpture of Europe

Artist

Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault

Title

Head of a Guillotined Man

Place

France (Artist's nationality)

Date

1818

Medium

Oil on panel

Dimensions

16 1/8 × 14 15/16 in. (41 × 38 cm)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of William Wood Prince; L. L. and A. S. Coburn Endowment; Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number

1992.628

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/119264/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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