T03494 Géricault 1933
Terracotta 9 1/2 × 7 × 8 (241 × 177 × 202)
Inscribed ‘13’ inside neck, in black paint
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Irene Patai, Encounters: The Life of Jacques Lipchitz, 1961, p.262; Arnason 1969, repr. 104 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, p.128 and repr.115 (bronze)
Arnason reproduces four different bronze heads of Géricault by Lipchitz, including this one, all studies for a large bronze 24ins. high of the same year (A.M. Hammacher, Jacques Lipchitz, 1975, repr. p.108). A plaster from the Tate Gallery's terracotta is in the collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art (Arizona 1982, 43, repr.).
Lipchitz wrote that he intended this portrait to be as accurate a likeness as possible:
During 1932 and 1933 I returned to portraiture, of which the most interesting to me was the portrait of Géricault. I have always been a great admirer of this painter, a genius who died young, and I have some paintings of his. There exists a death mask of Géricault of which I acquired a cast. I wanted to make the portrait as realistic as possible, so I checked documents and existing portraits of him. This was my homage to a great artist whom I loved very much. I think it is a good portrait. Even the Museum at Rouen, which has a lot of his works because Géricault was born there, bought a copy…