(b. 1791, Rouen, d. 1824, Paris)
Man with Delusions of Military Command1819-22
Oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm
The only rivals in Romantic painting to Goya's visions of the insane is a set of portraits which Géricault probably painted for his patron, Dr. Georget, of the doctor's patients as case histories. Victims of social trauma, they expose through their compulsions society's sickness and the special malady of the age - none more so than the old man whose 'delusions of military command' mirror the failed ambitions of Napoleon and his marshals.