Lead: Theodore Gericault (Tay aw DAWR ZHAY ree KOH), The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819), depicted a human tragedy of epic proportions. It was a political embarrassment to the post-Napoleonic French monarchy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Gericault’s painting, approximately 16 X 23 ft., hangs in the Louvre. It portrays the horrific experience of some of the survivors of the French frigate Medusa, which ran aground off the West African coast of Senegal in July 1816. The painting depicts suffering survivors on a drifting raft at sea. Medusa, carrying 400 passengers, was the flagship of a small fleet commissioned take back possession of the port of Saint-Louis after a period of occupation by the British.