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Title:Unbridled: the horses of Géricault’s English Suite
Author(s):Henry, Mollie Anne Fox
Advisor(s):O'Brien, David J.
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The English Suite
Horse prints
Abstract:In 1819, following the unenthusiastic reception of his Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault experienced a period of physical and psychological illness that ultimately led him to England, where he created an important series of lithographs entitled “Various Subjects Drawn from Life and on Stone,” today known as the English Suite. Géricault had initially explored the series’ medium—lithography—and one of its major subjects—horses—in close collaboration with Horace Vernet over the course of the 1810s. This thesis argues that the English Suite breaks decisively with both the conception of lithography and image of the horse that he had once shared with Vernet. In England, Géricault found a country with a long tradition of using prints for social commentary and a recent concern with the effects of industrialization and urban growth on the lives of the less fortunate. Interest in horses also flourished there, as evinced by a rich and active tradition of equine imagery and new concerns with the ethical treatment of horses in an industrial setting. In this context, Géricault was able to envision a distinctively new type of lithograph that combined his love of horses with a critique of the social ills besetting England at a moment of rapid urban and industrial growth. He enjoyed commercial success with a series of prints completely unprecedented in France and utterly different from the imagery he had developed with Vernet.
Issue Date:2017-04-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Mollie Henry
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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