//A horse painter: Théodore Géricault
Horses running with their riders

A horse painter: Théodore Géricault

Art is a way to immortalize moments, this can happen through photography, drawing, painting and sculpture among others.

The artist always seeks a source of inspiration based on the beauty of nature, humans or animals.

In the case of the painter Théodore Géricault he found his source of inspiration in horses. As we can see these wonderful animals possess a unique beauty that has inspired poets, painters, sculptors, photographers among others.

Throughout this article we will delve into the trajectory of the interesting horse painter: Théodore Géricault

Theodore Gericault: A collection of 92 paintings (HD)

Life of Théodore Géricault: a horse painter

His full name was Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault. This great artist of painting was known as Théodore Géricault.

This man was born in a French village called Rouen on 26 September 1791 and died in Paris on 26 January 1824. At the time of his death, this painter was 33 years old, a young man with great talent.

He was a brilliant French painter who devoted himself in body and soul to making beautiful portraits of horses.

Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was the son of lawyer Jorge Nicolás Géricault and Luisa Juana María Caruel.

This clever young man named Théodore followed his second education at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in the French capital.

By 1808, he had already made the decision to devote himself entirely to painting. He then entered carle Vernet’s studio as a student possibly attracted to the painter’s horse paintings.

Theodore Gericault: A horse painter
Theodore Gericault: A horse painter

Career of painter Théodore Géricault

  • Course studies with the academic painter Gilles Guérin.
  • Resisted and disagreed with the prevailing neoclassicism.
  • He studied Rubens and began painting directly from the model, meaning he made the preparatory drawings.
  • During the years 1816-1818 he devoted himself to studying Michelangelo and the Baroque.
  • He admired Bonington and Constable and was in England in 1820-1822, exhibiting his Raft and his horse paintings.
  • His career was very short, however he was very prestigious. He was mainly noted for his modern themes, his free execution and the representation of the Romantic movement.
Horse-free race
Horse-free race

Théodore Géricault and his great admiration for horses

So much was his admiration and respect for horses that he was inspired by them to make magnificent equestrian paintings.

The third of its pillars, if we mean thematic, were the horses. Undoubtedly these beautiful animals have been the source of inspiration for great artists throughout history.

As a lover of horses and equestrian, he originally portrayed the equine expression. These works modeled them under the premises of passion, and energy in the same way under originality and nobility.

This artist took into account the qualities present in horses.

Unfortunately this artist, who admired equines so much, died of the fall of a horse in 1824 at the young age of thirty-three.

Horses running with their riders
Horses running with their riders

Featured works on horses:

Among the most prominent works of Théodore Géricault’s artistic career are the following:

  • Hussar on horseback
  • Wounded Coracero
  • Free horse race
  • Derby in Empson (1821): the latter is the result of one of his trips to England where he attended a multitude of races and equestrian encounters.

As we can see the artist Théodore Géricault enjoyed to the fullest the events of the equestrian world. He certainly loved horses and activities where this animal participated.

Officer of the Hussars carrying on horseback
Officer of the Hussars carrying on horseback

Théodore Géricault and his active life in painting

  • By 1810, he was enrolled among the students of Pedro Guérni, neoclassical painter.
  • His first major work, “Officer of Hunters on Charge”, shown at the Paris Salon of 1812, revealed the influence of Rubens’ style. In turn he showed an interest in the representation of a contemporary argument.
  • Over the next few years Théodore Géricault conducted a series of small studies of horses and knights.
  • Exhibited the “Wounded Coracero” in the Salon of 1814, a more sophisticated work
  • In the course of two years he went through a self-imposed study of the construction and composition of figures.
The Indomitable
The Indomitable

Last days of the horse painter: Théodore Géricault

Uncomfortable with a painful illness, Géricault spent his last years unable to start making large-format paintings. In this sense, he made different lithographs with the valuable help of the craftsman Eugenie Lami.

The painter Géricault, despite his short life, made amazing works especially of horses.  That is why he is listed as a horse lover, because throughout his artistic career he made several works of these imposing and elegant animals.

Without a doubt Théodore Géricault was an excellent horse painter.


A powerful bond: love for horses.

Théodore Géricault left a legacy when it comes to equestrian art. For horse lovers to see an equestrian work by this artist is ineffable.

In the case of the Venezuelan Gustavo Mirabal Castro admires everything to do with equestrian art.

That is why Gustavo Mirabal Castro during his stay in Spain enjoyed to the maximum everything related to museums, squares, tourism and equestrian events.

Undoubtedly something that connects Gustavo Mirabal Castro with Théodore Géricault is the love of horses. Do you know another equestrian artist worth mentioning? Write us in the comments






If you want to visit Gustavo Mirabal’s photo gallery visit: