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Unsettling Paintings by Great Artists- “Anatomical Pieces” by Theodore Géricault

Gericault

“Anatomical Pieces” are a shocking masterpiece series by French painter Theodore Géricault (1791 – 1824) who used human remains from the morgue as subjects for his work.

Gericault 1

At the time, there were programs in local morgues to lend human remains to art students for anatomical study. Géricault would take them home to study them as they went through states of decomposition. He was known to stash various heads, arms, and legs under his bed, or alternately, store them on his roof.

Gericault 2

These anatomical studies of the dead and their body parts were in fact the preparation for one of his most seminal works “The Raft of The Medusa” (1819).

Gericault 3

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