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The Coal Waggon

Théodore Géricault

European Art

The Coal Waggon is the tenth image in a series of lithographs titled Various Subjects Drawn from Life and on Stone that Théodore Géricault produced in England in the 1820s. It is one of several to focus on horses, one of Géricault’s favorite subjects. A reminder of the era’s rapid cultural changes, the print depicts a team of draft horses, symbols of a traditional agricultural way of life, pulling a load of coal, the material fueling the Industrial Revolution. Working with the printer Charles Hullmandel, Géricault captured the windswept sky and misty mountains, expertly replicating in lithograph the atmospheric effects found in English watercolors of the period.

Like his fellow Romantic artist, Eugène Delacroix, Géricault embraced lithography as a means of making an original work of art. As one writer stated in 1817 after encountering the first lithographs to be included at the Paris Salon, “The image on the page is the actual drawing. . . . It is the hand of the master who drew it and differs in no way from the original. It is itself an original.”
MEDIUM Lithograph on wove paper
DATES 1821
DIMENSIONS 7 3/4 x 12 1/4 in. (19.7 x 31.1 cm) Sheet: 14 5/8 x 20 3/4 in. (37.1 x 52.7 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Théodore Géricault (French, 1791–1829). The Coal Waggon, 1821. Lithograph on wove paper, 7 3/4 x 12 1/4 in. (19.7 x 31.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 78.107 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 78.107_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 78.107_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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Théodore Géricault (French, 1791–1829). <em>The Coal Waggon</em>, 1821. Lithograph on wove paper, 7 3/4 x 12 1/4 in. (19.7 x 31.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 78.107 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 78.107_PS6.jpg)