Horse ranger officer during the attack, Theodore Gericault, 1812

Description of the picture:

The ranger officer during the attack is Theodore Gericault. 1812. Oil on canvas. 349×266 cm

   In one thousand eight hundred and twelve years, the French accepted the war as something romantic, fair and necessary for Europe, frozen in its own traditions, hindering the development of society. Proud of their restless Corsican emperor, poets composed verses, painters painted battle paintings. The young Gericault was also carried away by the heroics of the war.

   The work is filled with energy and dynamics. The viewer is ecstatic from the magnanimous, measured, even pacified face of the guard against the backdrop of the battle. A provided range of paintings, a professionally made image of a horseman-warrior, a fighting horse, all this allows art critics to consider this work specifically as the first in a new direction for Europe – romanticism.

   In the midst of detail, many note the skin of a leopard that covers the rider’s saddle. On the one hand, the skin of the killed predator emphasizes the courage and strength of the hero of the picture, on the other hand, the detail is completely harmonious with the peace of the guardsman, for whom war is a magnificent mission to free the world from injustice and ossified traditions. The viewer sees in front of himself the one who bears freedom and dignity.

   The government refused to receive the picture, not only because of innovative methods of depicting battle scenes, but also thanks to the defeats of the Napoleonic army in Russia. Romanticism was obliged to find other sources for inspiration."