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European Art
Artist: Théodore Géricault, French, 1791–1824

Shipwrecked on a Beach (The Tempest)

ca. 1822–23

Oil on paper mounted on canvas

unframed: 34 × 52.7 cm (13 3/8 × 20 3/4 in.)
Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund
In failing health from his return to Paris from London in 1821, Géricault abandoned large-scale history painting for small, impassioned oil sketches and drawings. This painting, sometimes called “The Tempest,” shows two shipwrecked sailors climbing ashore on a rocky beach after a storm. It is characteristic of the romantic subject matter and violent loose brushwork of his last efforts, painted shortly before his death, at age 33, in January 1824.
On view
19th century

Duc de Trévise Collection, Paris; Richard Goetz Collection, Paris; Dr. Fritz Nathan and Dr. Peter Nathan, Kunsthandlung, Zurich, Switzerland.


Lorenz E.A. Eitner, “Géricault’s “La Tempête”,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 2 (1967): 7–16.

“Recent Gifts and Purchases,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 31, no. 3 (Winter 1967–68): 54.

Lorenz E.A. Eitner, Géricault [Catalog of the exhibition] Oct. 12 - Dec. 12, 1971, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1971), 163, 185, no. 118.

Lee Johnson, “Géricault in Los Angeles,” The Burlington Magazine 113 (December 1971): 769–774, fig. 90.

William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Joseph Sloane, and John Minor Wisdom, French Nineteenth Century Oil Sketches, David to Degas: an exhibition in honor of the retirement of Joseph Curtis Sloane, exh. cat. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1978), 78.

Philippe Grunchec and Jacques Thuillier, L’opera Completa di Gericault (Milan: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1978), 142, no. A138, fig. A138.

Lorenz E.A. Eitner, “”The Literature of Art: Tout l’oeuvre peint de Gericault”,” The Burlington Magazine 122, no. 924 (March 1980): 206–210.

Lorenz E.A. Eitner, Gèricault: His Life and Work (London: Orbis Publishing, 1983), 258.

Yale University Art Gallery, French drawings: acquisitions, 1970–1984: Yale University Art Gallery, 4 April–10 June, 1984, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1984), 51–58.

Lorenz E.A. Eitner and Hans Lüthy, Theodore Gericault, 1791-1824: an exhibition paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints and sculpture, exh. cat. (New York: Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, 1987), no. 25, fig. plate 21.

Gary Tinterow, “Gericault’s heroic landscapes: the times of day,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Winter 1990).

Germain Bazin and Annie Champié, Théodore Géricault: étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné (Paris: Wildenstein Institute, 1997), no. 2096, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.