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An image of The boxers by Théodore Géricault

Théodore Géricault

(France 26 Sep 1791 – 26 Jan 1824)

The boxers
Alternative title:
Media category
Materials used
ii of 2 states

35.5 x 41.5 cm image; 42.4 x 59.0 cm sheet

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Parramore Purchase Fund 2004
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The print is considered to be the first masterpiece of lithography. Géricault sought to derive maximum pictorial effect from the medium by pitting the two opponents against each other not just by their stances and the contrasting colour of their skin, but by an adept reversal of his drawing technique. The strongly modelled torso of the black figure is drawn in pen and ink while soft crayon is used for his trousered legs. The reverse technique is used for the white boxer. Géricault would have seen amateur boxing matches in Paris but he was probably more directly inspired by popular English sporting prints.

Bibliography (17)

Germain Bazin, Théodore Géricault: étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1987-1997, Vol.5, 75, 224 (illus.). no.1690

G.F. Benge, The journal of the Walters Art Gallery, 'Barye's use of some of Géricault's drawings', pg.23, 1968-1969, 23. fig.15

K. Berger and D.C. Johnson, The Massachusetts Review, 'Art as confrontation: The black man in the work of Géricault', Massachusetts, Spring 1969. fig.2

Charles Clément, Gèricault: ètude biographique et critique, avec le Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre du maître, 3rd edition, Paris, 1879, 374. no.9, reprint with preface and catalogue supplement by L. Eitner, New York, 1974

Loys Delteil, Le peintre-graveur illustré (XIXe et XXe siècles), Paris, 1906-1930, Vol.18, (illus.). no. 10

École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Géricault: dessins & estampes des collections de l'École des beaux-arts, 1997, 219 (illus.). no.E.7

Lorenz Eitner, Géricault: his life and work, London, 1983, 153, 157. fig.143

Raymond Escholier, La peinture française, XIXe siècle, Paris, 1941, Vol.1, 154. vol. 1, de David à Géricault

Henri Focillon, La peinture au XIXe siècle. Le retour à l'antique. - Le romantisme., Paris, 1927, 190.

Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Géricault, Paris, 1991, 405 (illus.). no.301, fig.370

Hugh Honour, The Image of the Black in Western art, vol.2, 1989, 30-31. fig.15

F.H. Lem, L'arte, 'Le thème du nègre dans l’art de Géricault', pg.26-27, Rome, Jan 1962-Jun 1962, 26-27.

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, Géricault: tout l'oeuvre gravé et pièces en rapport, 1981, 34-35 (illus.). no.9

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 'Some recently acquired prints', Boston, Dec 1934, 83, 84 (illus.).

Peter Raissis, Look, 'More than a boxing match? Gallery gets its first Géricault, a rare lithograph', pg.8-9, Newtown, Apr 2005, 8-9, 9 (illus.).

D. Stanton, Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago, 'Two exhibitions of sporting prints', Sep 1939-Oct 1939, 77, 78 (illus.).

Duc de Trévise, The Arts, 'Théodore Géricault', Oct 1927, cover (illus.).

Exhibition history (1)

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014

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