Sailboat on the Sea

Théodore Géricaultabout 1818 - 1819

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In this drawing, made during a trip to Le Havre to observe the motion of the waves, Théodore Géricault showed his love of action and the technique of animated brushwork he used to express it. He intensified the dramatic effect of the ship pitching in the waves by applying accents of white gouache highlighting to the tumultuous waves, the edges of the storm-tossed ship's sails and riggings, and bits of the cloudy sky.

Géricault made this drawing around 1818, when he was working out the composition of his masterpiece, The Raft of the Medusa, by carefully studying and sketching ships and water conditions.

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  • Title: Sailboat on the Sea
  • Creator: Théodore Géricault
  • Date: about 1818 - 1819
  • Physical Dimensions: 15.2 x 24.8 cm (6 x 9 3/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Watercolor, brown wash, white gouache, and black chalk on tan paper Brush and brown wash, blue watercolor, opaque watercolor, over black chalk on brown laid paper Dark brown wash of boat has reflective binder
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.GG.679
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Drawings