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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Marietta, or Roman Odalisque
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Mademoiselle Fiocre
Louis-Ferdinand  Lachassaigne - Vase - Van Dyck painting his first canvas
Charles Durand dit Carolus-Duran - Mademoiselle de Lancey
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - Francis I Receives the Last Breaths of Leonardo da Vinci
Eugène Delacroix - Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha
Jacob Mardochée known as Jacob Petit - Mameluke clock
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Buste de Samuel Welles de La Valette
Gustave Courbet - Courbet au chien noir
Édouard Manet - Portrait of Théodore Duret
Louis Léopold Boilly - Portrait of Mademoiselle Athénaïs d’Albenas
Paul Gauguin - Old Man with a Stick
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Ugolino
Jan  Van Beers   - Les funérailles de Charles le Bon, Comte de Flandre, célébrées à Bruges dans l’église Saint-Christophe le 22 avril 1127
Gustave Courbet - La sieste pendant la saison des foins (montagne du Doubs)
Alfred de Dreux - Portrait of Mr and Mrs Mosselman and their two daughters
Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach - Portrait of Jeanne et Mrs Albert Dammouse
Octave  Penguilly L’Haridon  - Côtes de Belleville
Gustave Doré - The Vale of Tears
Gustave Doré - L’Ascension
Camille  Pissarro - Le Pont Royal et le Pavillon de Flore
Paul Delaroche - Portrait d'Horace Delaroche
Théobald Chartran - Priam asking Achilles for the return of Hector's body
 Escalier de cristal - Ecran de cheminée

Landscape with a tomb

Rouen, 1791 - Paris, 1824
Circa 1818
Oil on canvas
250 x 220 cm

Shortly after failing to win the Prix de Rome, Géricault set off for Italy in October 1816. No sooner had he arrived in Rome than he visited the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo’s frescos. But it was in the streets in particular that the young painter found his inspiration.

The young Géricault was critical of the routine of the Rome School and kept his distance from the French artistic community. He returned to Paris in the autumn of 1817 and began work on his monumental painting, The Raft of the Medusa (1819, Paris, Louvre Museum).

Landscape with a tomb, whose genesis and intended destination remain a mystery, was undoubtedly painted with two other large landscapes in 1818 when Géricault returned to France. The vast vista punctuated with architectural elements conforms with the rules of landscape painting inherited from Poussin. However, it gives off an air of anxiety and strangeness signifying a new sensitivity that heralded Romanticism.

The mountains visible in the distance conjure up the barrier of the Alps which travellers must cross to reach Italy. The cloudy sky adds a dramatic touch to the craggy site dominated by ruined architecture and the building perched on a rocky spur harks back to the ancient circular tomb of Cecilia Metella. The small boat towards which the frightened couple are moving recalls Charon’s boat, which received the souls of the dead in mythology and carried them over the river Acheron. At the centre of the composition are stocks on which human limbs are displayed, referring with morbid realism to the torture inflicted on bandits who demanded ransom money on the roads of southern Italy.

Tackling a landscape on this one occasion, Géricault was already demonstrating the profound originality of his art, which was much admired by the Romantic generation.

Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PDUT01170
Acquisition details : Purchase, 1970
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