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The Severed Heads
  • TitleThe Severed Heads

  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 50 x 61 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 65 x 76 x 6 cm
  • DatingMade 1810s
  • CategoryPaintings, Paintings
  • Inventory No.NM 2113
  • AcquisitionGift 1918 by a consortium
Images and media

The realism of Géricault’s study of severed heads is almost unbearable. The artist painted a number of similar images, sometimes of amputated arms and legs. There is presumably a connection with his masterpiece The Raft of the Medusa (Louvre), which shows the dying victims of a shipwreck. These paintings can be seen as studies, a way of getting close to death, with the ultimate aim of being able to depict it as convincingly as possible.