Medusa’s Raft- A Gruesome Story Retold

Destination Winnipeg

raft of the medusa adad hannahThis photograph in the Winnipeg Art Gallery quickly draws visitors’ attention when they walk into the room where it is displayed. Ever since I started giving tours at the gallery I’ve wanted to learn its story. This week I finally did.raft of the medusa by thedore gericaultThe photo is actually a re-staging of a famous painting called The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault which is in the Louvre in Paris. Gericault painted it in 1818 when he was just twenty-seven years old. It depicted a true event- the wreck of the frigate Medusa which ran aground in Maruitania in 1816. 147 people escaped from the boat on a quickly constructed raft. Thirteen days later when they were rescued there were only 15 survivors, the rest had died of starvation, cannibalism, suicide, drowning and dehydration. 

Visitors check out the Raft of the Medusa in the LouvreVisitors check out the Raft of the Medusa in the Louvre

Gericault read interviews with the survivors, built a…

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