I was 28 years old when I first saw the amazing painting, The Raft of the Medusa (1819). The artist, Théodore Géricault was about the same age when he completed his masterpiece that immortalized the 1816 shipwreck of the French frigate, the Méduse.
Géricault spent weeks studying the dead and dying in hospitals and morgues. His passion for realism is evident in his representation of life and death, depicted so dramatically on the collapsing raft. Standing in front of this immense work, its composition and superb rendering have an immediate vortex effect.