A critical look at the French painter Théodore Géricault's time spent in Italy, by Wheelock Whitney. "A painter of outstanding originality who was considered one of the founders of the French Romantic School, Théodore Géricault left Paris in late 1816, at the age of twenty-five, and spent the next year in Italy, making an extraordinary series of works in a variety of media. This beautiful book studies the work produced by Géricault during this year and assesses the importance of the trip for the rest of his career. Wheelock Whitney provides the most detailed account to date of the biographical circumstances of the Italian stay, paying particular attention to the artistic milieu in which Géricault found himself in Rome. He assesses Géricault's contact with numerous contemporary artists - and in particular the nature of their influence on him - presenting him as a product of his own time and place rather than as a solitary genius. The book discusses and reproduces almost every painting and drawing done by Géricault during this period : his copies after the antique and earlier masters; his works on the themes of contemporary Italian genre (an interest that made him almost unique among French artists of the period); the works on mythological and erotic themes; and his paramount Italian project - the series of works on teh annual race of the riderless horses down the Roman Corso, which have been organized here for the first time to illustrate fully the project's gradual development from the depiction ofa scene Géricault actually observed into a timeless if essentially classical images of heroic struggle. The book sheds light not only on a hitherto unexamined period of Géricault's life but also on the efforts of a key figure in a transitional period of French art to come to grips with the classical and neoclassical past while embracing the new century's passions for the exotic and the real." -- from interior flap. Includes notes, bibliography, and index. Printed in color and black-and-white.