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Swiss Sentry at the Louvre

A work made of lithograph on ivory wove paper (discolored to cream).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lithograph on ivory wove paper (discolored to cream).




Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault
French, 1791-1824

About this artwork

Spanning the rise and fall of the Napoleonic Empire, Théodore Géricault’s career culminated during the fractious period of the French Restoration. Though dimmed by brief and disenchanting military service (1815) and the disappointments of the Napoleonic era, he found in lithography an appropriate match for his awareness of the politics of contemporary France. While crossing the Tuileries gardens outside of the Musée du Louvre, a peg-legged French veteran at left confronts a sentry of the Swiss Royal Guard. When the Swiss officer moves to take up his musket, the veteran exposes the Napoleonic cross pinned to his chest, beneath his coat. Despite old age and handicap, the Napoleonic soldier gives a gesture of defiance, thus communicating patriotic pride during a postempiric period. This gesture meets with cheering from Bonapartist observers in the background.


On View, Gallery 219


Prints and Drawings


Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault


Swiss Sentry at the Louvre


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Lithograph on ivory wove paper (discolored to cream)


Image: 39.7 × 33 cm (15 11/16 × 13 in.); Sheet: 49.1 × 38.7 cm (19 3/8 × 15 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

The Print and Drawing Fund; The Joseph Brooks Fair Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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