Sunday 12 February 2017

Innocence and Doubt

…painted with extreme rapidity, without retouches, and in a state of unflinching empathy, [Géricault's portraits of the insane] correspond with the state of excitability and delusion for which Mme Aimé-Azam's letters provide slender but convincing evidence. It would have been difficult to use these portraits in a didactic work, for they show no attributable symptoms; they are merely faces of people sunk in terror, suspicion or bewilderment. The titles by which they are known are not contemporary. There is no attempt to interpret the minds of these people, or to illustrate their condition in a public way … The kleptomaniac (Monomanie du vol) has a face of great beauty, with eyes sunk in innocence and doubt…
Soundings, 'Géricault'

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