September 26, 2017
Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), Horse Hooves After Gericault, ink, 5 13/16 x 9 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
French artist Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was born on this day in 1791. Celebrated as a pioneer of French Romanticism, Gericault is known for emotionally charged paintings of contemporary events, military subjects, psychologically rich portraits, and dynamic depictions of horses—from which Mahonri Young likely drew this sketch.
Gericault’s fascination with horses began during his early tutelage with sporting painter Carle Vernet. While studying in Paris, the young artist traveled to the palace of Versailles and spent time in the stables, studying the anatomy and unique movement of the horses. His first major painting, submitted to the Paris Salon in 1812, captures a soldier astride a rearing horse in battle, and equine energy and beauty feature in many of his subsequent works. Young likely created this study from one such painting during his European art tours.