Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1819 Part II NEXT-1820-1829    
 
 
     
FitzGerald Edward
1810 - 1819
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810-1819
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810 Part I
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Edict of Fontainebleau
First Republic of Venezuela
Mexican War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
Colombian Declaration of Independence
Foolish Fatherland
Chilean War of Independence
Bolivian war of independence
Charles XIV John
Invasion of Guadeloupe
Cavour Camillo
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1810 Part II
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Montalembert Charles
Musset Alfred
Scott: "The Lady of the Lake"
Goya: "The Disasters of War"
The Nazarenes
Beethoven: "Egmont"
Chopin Frederic
Chopin - Nocturne Op.9 No.2
Frederic Chopin
Nicolai Otto
Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture
Otto Nicolai
Rossini: "La Cambiale di Matrimonio"
Schumann Robert
Schumann - Piano sonata n.1 op.11
Robert Schumann
Spurzheim Johann Gaspar
Hahnemann Samuel
Girard Philippe
Humboldt University of Berlin
Krupp Friedrich Carl
Barnum Phineas Taylor
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part I
George IV
Battle of the Danube
Massacre of the Mamelukes at Cairo
Napoleon Francois-Joseph Charles
Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
Paraguay independent of Spain
Venezuelan War of Independence
Peruvian War of Independence
San Martin Jose
Battle of Las Piedras
Artigas Jose Gervagio
Invasion of Java
Battle of Tippecanoe
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part II
Bottiger Karl August
Niebuhr Barthold Georg
University of Oslo
Jane Austen: "Sense and Sensibility"
Stowe Harriet Beecher
Friedrich de la Motte-Fouque: "Undine"
Gautier Theophile
Goethe: "Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit"
Gutzkow Karl
Thackeray William Makepeace
Dupre Jules
Jules Dupre
Ingres: "Jupiter and Thetis"
Thomas Lawrence: Portrait of Benjamin West
Thorvaldsen: "Procession of Alexander the Great"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1811 Part III
Liszt Franz
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Franz Liszt
Prague Conservatoire
Carl Maria von Weber: "Abu Hassan"
Avogadro Amedeo
Great Comet of 1811
Bunsen Robert
Poisson Simeon-Denis
Manning Thomas
Berblinger Albrecht Ludwig
"Luddites"
Jungfrau
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part I
French invasion of Russia
Battle of Borodino
Kutuzov Mikhail
Malet Claude-François
Louisiana
Perceval Spencer
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part II
War of 1812
Battle of Salamanca
Siege of Burgos
Battle of Tordesillas
Hegel: "Science of Logic"
Jewish emancipation
Browning Robert
Robert Browning 
"Dramatic Romances"
"The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
The Brothers Grimm: "Fairy Tales"
Lord Byron: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Dickens Charles
Charles Dickens
"Great Expectations"
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Goncharov Ivan Aleksandrovich
Smiles Samuel
Krasinski Zygmunt
Kraszewski Joseph Ignatius
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1812 Part III
Elgin Marbles
Rousseau Theodore
Theodore Rousseau
Pforr Franz
Franz Pforr
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 7 (Op. 92)
Encounter between Beethoven and Goethe at Teplitz
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 8 (Op. 93)
Flotow Friedrich
Friedrich von Flotow: Piano Concerto No. 2
Friedrich von Flotow
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna
Burckhardt Johann Ludwig
Krupp Alfred
Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada
Hampden Clubs
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1813 Part I
German Campaign 1813–1814
Battle of Dresden
Battle of Lutzen
Battle of the Katzbach
Battle of Leipzig
Battle of York
Battle of Fort George
Capture of USS Chesapeake
Battle of Crysler's Farm
Capture of Fort Niagara
Battle of Buffalo
Battle of Vitoria
Siege of San Sebastian
First Serbian Uprising
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1813 Part II
Herbart Johann Friedrich
Kierkegaard Soren
Schopenhauer: "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason"
Colby College, Maine
The Baptist Union of Great Britain
Jane Austen: "Pride and Prejudice"
Buchner Georg
Byron: "The Giaour"
Hebbel Friedrich
Ludwig Otto
Shelley: "Queen Mab"
Turner: "Frosty Morning"
London Philharmonic Society
Rossini: "L'ltaliana in Algeri"
Verdi Giuseppe
Anna Netrebko "Final Scene" La traviata
Giuseppe Verdi
Wagner Richard
Richard Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries
Richard Wagner
Campbell John
Blaxland Gregory
Across the Blue Mountains
Lord Thomas
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part I
1814 campaign in France
Six Days Campaign
Battle of Champaubert
Battle of Montmirail
Battle of Chateau-Thierry
Battle of Vauchamps
Battle of Orthez
Treaty of Chaumont
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
Battle of Paris
Battle of Toulouse
Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Paris
Congress of Vienna
Napoleon's exile to Elba
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part II
Christian VIII
Bakunin Mikhail
Battle of Chippawa
Burning of Washington
Battle of Plattsburgh
Treaty of Ghent
Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16
First Anglican bishop in Calcutta
Motley John Lothrop
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1814 Part III
Jane Austen: "Mansfield Park"
Byron: "The Corsair"
Edmund Kean's Shylock
Lermontov Mikhail
Mikhail Lermontov
"Death of the Poet"
"Mtsyri"
"The Demon
"
Walter Scott: "Waverley"
Williav Wordsworth: "The Excursion"
Adelbert von Chamisso: "Peter Schlemihl"
Goya: "The Second of May 1808"
Goya: "The Third of May 1808"
Ingres: "Grande Odalisque"
Millet Jean Francois
Jean Francois Millet
Orfila Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure
Industrial printing presses
Lord's Cricket Ground
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part I
Battle of New Orleans
Hundred Days
Neapolitan War
Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon's surrender
Second Peace of Paris
Ney Michel
NAPOLEON AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE, 1796-1815
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part II
Corn Law
Bismarck Otto
Spanish Invasion of New Granada in 1815–1816
Basel Mission
Beranger Pierre
Byron: "Hebrew Melodies"
Geibel Emanuel
Hoffmann: "Die Elixiere des Teufels"
Scott: "Guy Mannering"
Trollope Anthony
Anthony Trollope 
"Barchester Towers"
Wordsworth: "White Doe of Rylstone"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1815 Part III
Goya: "La Tauromaquia"
Menzel Adolf
Adolf Menzel
Turner: "Crossing the Brook"
Franz Robert
Robert Franz - Oh Wert thou in the Cauld Blast
Robert Franz
Kjerulf Halfdan
Halfdan Kjerulf - Spring Song
Halfdan Kjerulf
Robert Volkmann - Cello Concerto in A minor
Robert Volkmann
Davy lamp
Fresnel Augustin-Jean
Prout William
Prout's hypothesis
Steam battery "Demologos", or "Fulton"
Nations in Arms
Warfare
Nations in Arms
(1763-1815)
Apothecaries Act
McAdam John Loudon
Robertson Allan
Eruption of Sumbawa Volcano
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1816 Part I
Maria I, Queen of Portugal
John VI of Portugal
Argentine War of Independence
Argentine Declaration of Independence
Federal Convention
Indiana
American Bible Society
Gobineau Joseph Arthur
Karamzin Nikolai
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1816 Part II
Jane Austen: "Emma"
Bronte Charlotte
Charlotte Bronte
"Jane Eyre"
Byron: "The Siege of Corinth"
Freytag Gustav
Derzhavin Gavrila
Leigh Hunt: "The Story of Rimini"
Shelley: "Alastor"
Goya: "The Duke of Osuna"
Rossini: "Barbiere di Siviglia"
Spohr: "Faust"
Brewster David
Laennec Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe
Siemens Werner
Cobbett William
Froebel Friedrich
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1817 Part I
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Blanketeers
Wartburg Festival
Second Serbian Uprising (1815-1817)
Mississippi
Third Anglo-Maratha War 1817-1818
Bockh August
Hegel: "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences"
Llorente Juan Antonio
Mommsen Theodor
David Ricardo: "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation"
Byron: "Manfred"
Thomas Moore: "Lalla Rookh"
Storm Theodor
Thoreau Henry David
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1817 Part II
Constable: "Flatford Mill"
Daubigny Charles
Charles Daubigny
Thorvaldsen: Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
Leech John
John Leech
Watts George Frederic
George Frederic Watts
Rossini: "La Gazza ladra"
Rossini: "Cenerentola"
Selenium
Lithium
Ritter Carl
Long Stephen Harriman
"Blackwood's Magazine"
"The Scotsman"
Waterloo Bridge
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part I
Chilean Declaration of Independence
Bavarian constitution proclaimed
Treaty of 1818
Illinois
Dobrovsky Josef
Froude James Anthony
Marx Karl
Karl Marx
"Manifesto of the Communist Party"
- Marxism
Friedrich Engels
First International
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part II
Byron: "Don Juan"
Keats: "Endymion"
Peacock: "Nightmare Abbey"
Walter Scott: "Heart of Midlothian"
Shelley Mary
Mary Shelley "Frankenstein"
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 
"Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus"
Turgenev Ivan
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1818 Part III
Burckhardt Jakob
Fohr Carl Philipp
Karl Philipp Fohr
Donizetti: "Enrico, Conte di Borgogna"
Gounod Charles
Gounod - Ave Maria
Charles Gounod
"Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht"
Rossini: "Mose in Egitto"
Bessel Friedrich Wilhelm
Encke Johann Franz
Oxley John
British Admiralty Expeditions
Scoresby William
Phipps Constantine Henry
Buchan David
Parry William Edward
Ross James Clark
Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
Raiffeisen Friedrich Wilhelm
"Savannah"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part I
Founding of modern Singapore
Florida
Victoria
Queen Victoria
Victorian Era
Peterloo Massacre
Albert, Prince Consort
Alabama
Jakob Grimm: "German Grammar"
Hermes Georg
Schopenhauer: "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung"
Sismondi Jean
Wilson Horace Hayman
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part II
Byron: "Mazeppa"
Eliot George
George Eliot 
"Silas Marner"
Fontane Theodor
Howe Julia Ward
Keats: "Hyperion"
Keller Gottfried
Kotzebue August
Lowell James Russell
Shelley: "The Cenci"
Whitman Walt
Walt Whitman
"Leaves of Grass"
Washington Irving: "Rip van Winkle"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1819 Part III
Courbet Gustave
Gustave Courbet
Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
Ruskin John
Thorvaldsen: "Lion of Lucerne"
Turner: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Museo del Prado
Chasseriau Theodore
Theodore Chasseriau
Offenbach Jacques
Offenbach - Barcarole
Jacques Offenbach
Schumann Clara
Mitscherlich Eilhard
Oersted Hans Christian
Central Asia Exploration
Moorcroft William
First Sightings of the Antarctic Continent
Bransfield Edward
Weddell James
Bellingshausen Thaddeus
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London
 
 
 

Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1819 Part III
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Courbet Gustave
 
Gustave Courbet, (born June 10, 1819, Ornans, France—died December 31, 1877, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland), French painter and leader of the Realist movement. Courbet rebelled against the Romantic painting of his day, turning to everyday events for his subject matter. His huge shadowed canvases with their solid groups of figures, such as The Artist’s Studio (1855), drew sharp criticism from the establishment. From the 1860s a more sensuous and colourful manner prevailed in his work.
 

Gustave Courbet c. 1860s
(Portrait by Étienne Carjat)
  Early life and work
Courbet was born in eastern France, the son of Eléonor-Régis, a prosperous farmer, and Sylvie Courbet. After attending both the Collège Royal and the college of fine arts at Besançon, he went to Paris in 1841, ostensibly to study law. He devoted himself more seriously, however, to studying the paintings of the masters in the Louvre. Father and son had great mutual respect, and, when Courbet told his father he intended to become a painter rather than a provincial lawyer, his father consented, saying, “If anyone gives up, it will be you, not me,” adding that, if necessary, he would sell his land and vineyards and even his houses to help his son.

Freed from all financial worry, young Courbet was able to devote himself entirely to his art. He gained technical proficiency by copying the pictures of Diego Velázquez, José de Ribera, and other 17th-century Spanish painters. In 1844, when he was 25, after several unsuccessful attempts, his self-portrait Courbet with a Black Dog, painted in 1842, was accepted by the Salon—the only annual public exhibition of art in France, sponsored by the Académie des Beaux-Arts. When in the following years the jury for the Salon thrice rejected his work because of its unconventional style and bold subject matter, he remained undaunted and continued to submit it.

The development of Realism
The Revolution of 1848 ushered in the Second Republic and a new liberal spirit that, for a brief while, greatly affected the arts. The Salon held its exhibition not in the Louvre itself but in the adjoining galleries of the Tuileries.

 
 
Courbet exhibited there in 1849, and his early work was greeted with considerable critical and public acclaim.

In 1849 he visited his family at Ornans to recover from his hectic lifestyle in Paris and, inspired again by his native countryside, produced two of his greatest paintings: The Stone-Breakers and Burial at Ornans. Painted in 1849, The Stone-Breakers is a realistic rendering of two figures doing physical labour in a barren rural setting. The Burial at Ornans, from the following year, is a huge representation of a peasant funeral, containing more than 40 life-size figures. Both works depart radically from the more controlled, idealized pictures of either the Neoclassical or the Romantic school; they portray the life and emotions not of aristocrats but of humble peasants, and they do so with a realistic urgency. The fact that Courbet did not glorify his peasants but presented them boldly and starkly assaulted the prevailing conventions of the art world.
 
 
Leader of the new school of Realism
Courbet, an intimate of many writers and philosophers of his day, including the poet Charles Baudelaire and the social philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, became the leader of the new school of Realism, which in time prevailed over other contemporary movements. One of the decisive elements in his development of Realism was his lifelong attachment to the traditions and customs of his native province, the Franche-Comté, and of his birthplace, Ornans, one of the most beautiful towns in the province.

After a brief visit to Switzerland, he returned to Ornans, and in late 1854 he began an immense canvas, which he completed in six weeks: The Artist’s Studio, an allegory of all the influences on Courbet’s artistic life, which are portrayed as human figures from all levels of society. Courbet himself presides over all the figures with ingenuous conceit, working on a landscape and turning his back to a nude model, a symbolic representation of academic tradition. When the painting was refused by the jury for the 1855 Universal Exposition, Courbet, with the financial support of a friend, opened his own pavilion of Realism to exhibit his works in a site close to the official exposition. The enterprise failed; the painter Eugène Delacroix alone, in his journal, praised the audacity and talent of Courbet.

In 1856 Courbet visited Germany, where he was warmly welcomed by his fellow artists. Three years later, at the age of 40 and still working in defiance of severe criticism in his own country, he was the undisputed model for a new generation of painters who had turned away from the traditional schools of painting, which they considered only barriers to artistic inspiration.

Courbet worked in all genres. A lover of women, he glorified the female nude in paintings of stunning warmth and sensuality. He executed admirable portraits, but above all he celebrated the Franche-Comté, the forests, springs, rocks, and cliffs of which were immortalized by his vision. In 1865 he set up his easel before the cliffs of Étretat, Deauville, Trouville, and other resorts fashionable during the Second Empire. Carefully observing air currents and storm skies, he successfully depicted the architecture of a tempest in a series of seascapes.
These pictures were an extraordinary achievement that amazed the world of art and opened the way for Impressionism, which was to achieve an even greater sensuousness by reproducing the colour and light reflected by an object rather than its strict linear shape.

  Political activities
The Franco-German War broke out in 1870, the Second Empire collapsed, and the Third Republic was proclaimed. On March 18, 1871, the republican Paris Commune was established to fight the Germans in France as well as to fight the Army of Versailles, which had remained loyal to Napoleon III and had concluded an armistice with the Germans that the members of the Commune judged to be dishonourable. Courbet, who had been recently elected president of the artists’ federation and was charged with reopening the museums and organizing the annual Salon, took part in the revolutionary activities of the Commune. Instead of opening the museums, he decided to protect the major public monuments, especially the Sèvres porcelain factory and the palace at Fontainebleau, for Paris had been under constant bombardment by the Germans. Alarmed by the excesses of the Commune, he resigned May 2.

The Commune had voted to destroy the column in the Place Vendôme commemorating the Grand Army of Napoleon Bonaparte, and it carried out the decision on May 16. But on May 28 the Commune was crushed by the Army of Versailles, and on June 7 Courbet was arrested at the home of a friend. Because he was thought to have been responsible for the demolition of the column, he was brought before a military court. As he had often made known his disgust of the militarism represented by the monument, he was charged with having been the instigator, although he had in no way participated in its destruction. A scapegoat was needed, and Courbet was arbitrarily chosen, despite his protests and those of the persons actually responsible for the demolition, who had fled to England. He was sentenced to six months in prison, and, thanks to the intervention of Adolphe Thiers, head of the provisional government of the French Republic, he was given a minimum fine of 500 francs. He served his sentence first at the Sainte-Pélagie prison, and, when he became seriously ill, he was moved to a clinic near Paris. Once freed, he hastened to Ornans in the hope of regaining his strength.

When Thiers resigned in 1872, the Bonapartist deputies reopened Courbet’s case and sued him for the cost of rebuilding the column. His entire personal property and all his paintings were seized, and he was fined 500,000 gold francs. Having no alternative but to leave France because he could not pay the fine, he crossed the border into Switzerland on July 23, 1873, and settled in the small town of Fleurier. He set to work again, but, feeling unsafe so close to France, he first went to Vevey and then to La Tour-de-Peilz, where he bought an old inn, appropriately named the Bon-Port (“Safe Arrival”). There he died at the age of 58, physically and morally exhausted.

 
 

Portrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl
 
 

Assessment
Courbet’s reputation has continued to grow since his death. His detractors often judge his art only on the basis of his socialism, ignoring the fact that his political beliefs grew out of his generosity and compassion. His work, however, exerted much influence on the modern movements that followed him. He offered succeeding generations of painters not so much a new technique as a whole new philosophy. The aim of his painting was not, as previous schools had maintained, to embellish or idealize reality but to reproduce it accurately. Courbet succeeded in ridding his painting of artistic clichés, contrived idealism, and timeworn models.

Robert J. Fernier

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
     
 
Gustave Courbet
 
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
 

The Raft of the Medusa (French: ''Le Radeau de la Méduse'') is an oil painting of 1818–1819 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Gericault Theodore  (1791–1824).

Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. At 491 cm × 716 cm (193.3 in × 282.3 in), it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania on July 5, 1816. At least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practiced cannibalism.

The event became an international scandal, in part because its cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the French captain perceived to be acting under the authority of the recently restored French monarchy. In reality, King Louis XVIII had no say in the captain's appointment, since monarchs were not directly involved in appointments made to vessels like a naval frigate. The appointment of the vicomte de Chaumareys as captain of the Méduse would have been a routine naval appointment, made within the Ministry of the Navy.

 

Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
 
 
In choosing the tragedy as subject matter for his first major work—an uncommissioned depiction of an event from recent history—Géricault consciously selected a well-known incident that would generate great public interest and help launch his career. The event fascinated the young artist, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches. He interviewed two of the survivors, and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. His efforts took him to morgues and hospitals where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As the artist had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.

Although The Raft of the Medusa retains elements of the traditions of history painting, in both its choice of subject matter and its dramatic presentation, it represents a break from the calm and order of the then-prevailing Neoclassical school. Géricault's work attracted wide attention almost immediately from its first showing, and was subsequently exhibited in London. It was acquired by the Louvre soon after the artist's early death at the age of 32. The painting's influence can be seen in the works of Eugène Delacroix, J. M. W. Turner, Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet.

 
 

Diagram showing the outline of the two pyramidal structures that form the basis of the work. The position of the Argus is indicated by the yellow dot.
 
 
Background
In June 1816, the French frigate Méduse departed from Rochefort, bound for the Senegalese port of Saint-Louis. She headed a convoy of three other ships: the storeship Loire, the brig Argus and the corvette Écho. Viscount Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys had been appointed captain of the frigate despite having scarcely sailed in 20 years. The frigate's mission was to accept the British return of Senegal under the terms of France's acceptance of the Peace of Paris. The appointed French governor of Senegal, Colonel Julien-Désiré Schmaltz, and his wife Reine Schmaltz were among the passengers.

In an effort to make good time, the Méduse overtook the other ships, but due to poor navigation it drifted 100 miles (161 km) off course. On July 2, it ran aground on a sandbank off the West African coast, near today's Mauritania. The collision was widely blamed on the incompetence of De Chaumereys, a returned émigré who lacked experience and ability, but had been granted his commission as a result of an act of political preferment. Efforts to free the ship failed, so, on July 5, the frightened passengers and crew started an attempt to travel the 60 miles (97 km) to the African coast in the frigate's six boats. Although the Méduse was carrying 400 people, including 160 crew, there was space for only about 250 in the boats. The remainder of the ship's complement—at least 146 men and one woman—were piled onto a hastily-built raft, that partially submerged once it was loaded. Seventeen crew members opted to stay aboard the grounded Méduse.

The captain and crew aboard the other boats intended to tow the raft, but after only a few miles the raft was turned loose. For sustenance the crew of the raft had only a bag of ship's biscuit (consumed on the first day), two casks of water (lost overboard during fighting) and a few casks of wine.

According to critic Jonathan Miles, the raft carried the survivors "to the frontiers of human experience. Crazed, parched and starved, they slaughtered mutineers, ate their dead companions and killed the weakest." After 13 days, on July 17, 1816, the raft was rescued by the Argus by chance—no particular search effort was made by the French for the raft. By this time only 15 men were still alive; the others had been killed or thrown overboard by their comrades, died of starvation, or thrown themselves into the sea in despair. The incident became a huge public embarrassment for the French monarchy, only recently restored to power after Napoleon's defeat in 1815.

  Description
The Raft of the Medusa portrays the moment when, after 13 days adrift on the raft, the remaining 15 survivors view a ship approaching from a distance. According to an early British reviewer, the work is set at a moment when "the ruin of the raft may be said to be complete". The painting is on a monumental scale of 491 × 716 cm (193.3 × 282.3 in), so that most of the figures rendered are life-sized and those in the foreground almost twice life-size, pushed close to the picture plane and crowding onto the viewer, who is drawn into the physical action as a participant.

The makeshift raft is shown as barely seaworthy as it rides the deep waves, while the men are rendered as broken and in utter despair. One old man holds the corpse of his son at his knees; another tears his hair out in frustration and defeat. A number of bodies litter the foreground, waiting to be swept away by the surrounding waves. The men in the middle have just viewed a rescue ship; one points it out to another, and an African crew member, Jean Charles, stands on an empty barrel and frantically waves his handkerchief to draw the ship's attention.

The pictorial composition of the painting is constructed upon two pyramidal structures. The perimeter of the large mast on the left of the canvas forms the first. The horizontal grouping of dead and dying figures in the foreground forms the base from which the survivors emerge, surging upward towards the emotional peak, where the central figure waves desperately at a rescue ship.

The viewer's attention is first drawn to the centre of the canvas, then follows the directional flow of the survivors' bodies, viewed from behind and straining to the right. According to the art historian Justin Wintle, "a single horizontal diagonal rhythm [leads] us from the dead at the bottom left, to the living at the apex." Two other diagonal lines are used to heighten the dramatic tension. One follows the mast and its rigging and leads the viewer's eye towards an approaching wave that threatens to engulf the raft, while the second, composed of reaching figures, leads to the distant silhouette of the Argus, the ship that eventually rescued the survivors.

Géricault's palette is composed of pallid flesh tones, and the murky colours of the survivors' clothes, the sea and the clouds. Overall the painting is dark and relies largely on the use of sombre, mostly brown pigments, a palette that Géricault believed was effective in suggesting tragedy and pain.

 
 
The work's lighting has been described as "Caravaggesque", after the Italian artist closely associated with tenebrism—the use of violent contrast between light and dark. Even Géricault's treatment of the sea is muted, being rendered in dark greens rather than the deep blues that could have afforded contrast with the tones of the raft and its figures. From the distant area of the rescue ship, a bright light shines, providing illumination to an otherwise dull brown scene.
 
 

Cannibalism on the Raft of the Medusa, crayon, ink wash, and gouache on paper, 28 cm × 38 cm, Louvre. This study is darker than the final work, and the positions of the figures differ significantly from those of the later painting.
 
 
Execution
Research and preparatory studies

Géricault was captivated by accounts of the widely publicised 1816 shipwreck, and realised that a depiction of the event might be an opportunity to establish his reputation as a painter. Having decided to proceed, he undertook extensive research before he began the painting. In early 1818, he met with 2 survivors: Henri Savigny, a surgeon, and Alexandre Corréard, an engineer from the Arts et Métiers ParisTech. Their emotional descriptions of their experiences largely inspired the tone of the final painting. According to the art historian Georges-Antoine Borias, "Géricault established his studio across from Beaujon hospital. And here began a mournful descent. Behind locked doors he threw himself into his work. Nothing repulsed him. He was dreaded and avoided."

Earlier travels had exposed Géricault to victims of insanity and plague, and while researching the Méduse his effort to be historically accurate and realistic led to an obsession with the stiffness of corpses. To achieve the most authentic rendering of the flesh tones of the dead, he made sketches of bodies in the morgue of the Hospital Beaujon, studied the faces of dying hospital patients, brought severed limbs back to his studio to study their decay, and for a fortnight drew a severed head, borrowed from a lunatic asylum and stored on his studio roof.

He worked with Corréard, Savigny and another of the survivors, the carpenter Lavillette, to construct an accurately detailed scale model of the raft, which was reproduced on the finished canvas, even showing the gaps between some of planks. Géricault posed models, compiled a dossier of documentation, copied relevant paintings by other artists, and went to Le Havre to study the sea and sky. Despite suffering from fever, he travelled to the coast on a number of occasions to witness storms breaking on the shore, and a visit to artists in England afforded further opportunity to study the elements while crossing the English Channel.

He drew and painted numerous preparatory sketches while deciding which of several alternative moments of the disaster he would depict in the final work. The painting's conception proved slow and difficult for Géricault, and he struggled to select a single pictorially-effective moment to best capture the inherent drama of the event.

Among the scenes he considered were the mutiny against the officers from the second day on the raft, the cannibalism that occurred after only a few days, and the rescue. Géricault ultimately settled on the moment, recounted by one of the survivors, when they first saw, on the horizon, the approaching rescue ship Argus—visible in the upper right of the painting—which they attempted to signal. The ship, however, passed by. In the words of one of the surviving crew members, "From the delirium of joy, we fell into profound despondency and grief."

To a public well-versed in the particulars of the disaster, the scene would have been understood to encompass the aftermath of the crew's abandonment, focusing on the moment when all hope seemed lost—the Argus reappeared two hours later and rescued those who remained.

The author Rupert Christiansen points out that the painting depicts more figures than had been on the raft at the time of the rescue—including corpses which were not recorded by the rescuers. Instead of the sunny morning and calm water reported on the day of the rescue, Géricault depicted a gathering storm and dark, heaving sea to reinforce the emotional gloom.

  Final work
Géricault, who had just been forced to break off a painful affair with his aunt, shaved his head and from November 1818 to July 1819 lived a disciplined monastic existence in his studio in the Faubourg du Roule, being brought meals by his concierge and only occasionally spending an evening out. He and his 18-year-old assistant, Louis-Alexis Jamar, slept in a small room adjacent to the studio; occasionally there were arguments and on one occasion Jamar walked off; after two days Géricault persuaded him to return. In his orderly studio, the artist worked in a methodical fashion in complete silence and found that even the noise of a mouse was sufficient to break his concentration.

He used friends as models, most notably the painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863), who modelled for the figure in the foreground with face turned downward and one arm outstretched.

Two of the raft's survivors are seen in shadow at the foot of the mast; three of the figures were painted from life—Corréard, Savigny and Lavillette. Jamar posed nude for the dead youth shown in the foreground about to slip into the sea, and was also the model for two other figures.

According to Hubert Wellington, Delacroix—who would become the standard-bearer of French Romanticism after Géricault's death—wrote, "Géricault allowed me to see his Raft of Medusa while he was still working on it. It made so tremendous an impression on me that when I came out of the studio I started running like a madman and did not stop till I reached my own room."

Géricault painted with small brushes and viscous oils, which allowed little time for reworking and were dry by the next morning. He kept his colours apart from each other: his palette consisted of vermilion, white, naples yellow, two different yellow ochres, two red ochres, raw sienna, light red, burnt sienna, crimson lake, Prussian blue, peach black, ivory black, cassel earth and bitumen.

Bitumen has a velvety, lustrous appearance when first painted, but over a period of time discolours to a black treacle, while contracting and thus creating a wrinkled surface, which cannot be renovated. As a result of this, details in large areas of the work can hardly be discerned today.

Géricault drew an outline sketch of the composition onto the canvas. He then posed models one at a time, completing each figure before moving onto the next, as opposed to the more usual method of working over the whole composition. The concentration in this way on individual elements gave the work both a "shocking physicality" and a sense of deliberate theatricality—which some critics consider an adverse effect. Over 30 years after the completion of the work, his friend Montfort recalled:

[Géricault's method] astonished me as much as his intense industry. He painted directly on the white canvas, without rough sketch or any preparation of any sort, except for the firmly traced contours, and yet the solidity of the work was none the worse for it. I was struck by the keen attention with which he examined the model before touching brush to canvas.

He seemed to proceed slowly, when in reality he executed very rapidly, placing one touch after the other in its place, rarely having to go over his work more than once.
There was very little perceptible movement of his body or arms. His expression was perfectly calm ....
Working with little distraction, the artist completed the painting in 8 months; the project as a whole took 18 months.

 
 

Sailors of the Méduse detained by the British after the sinking. Lithograph by C. Motte, after Théodore Géricault.
 
 
Influences
The Raft of the Medusa fuses many influences from the Old Masters, from the Last Judgment and Sistine Chapel ceiling of Michelangelo (1475–1564) and Raphael's Transfiguration, to the monumental approach of Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) and Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835), to contemporary events. By the 18th century, shipwrecks had become a recognised feature of marine art, as well as an increasingly common occurrence as more journeys were made by sea. Claude Joseph Vernet (1714–1789) created many such images, achieving naturalistic colour through direct observation—unlike other artists at that time—and was said to have tied himself to the mast of a ship in order to witness a storm.

Although the men depicted on the raft had spent 13 days adrift and suffered hunger, disease and cannibalism, Géricault pays tribute to the traditions of heroic painting and presents his figures as muscular and healthy. According to the art historian Richard Muther, there is still a strong debt to Classicism in the work. The fact that the majority of the figures are almost naked, he wrote, arose from a desire to avoid "unpictorial" costumes. Muther observes that there is "still something academic in the figures, which do not seem to be sufficiently weakened by privation, disease, and the struggle with death".

The influence of Jacques-Louis David can be seen in the painting's scale, in the sculptural tautness of the figures and in the heightened manner in which a particularly significant "fruitful moment"—the first awareness of the approaching ship—is described. In 1793, David also painted an important current event with The Death of Marat. His painting had an enormous political impact during the time of the revolution in France, and it served as an important precedent for Géricault's decision to also paint a current event. David's pupil, Antoine-Jean Gros, had, like David, represented "the grandiosities of a school irredeemably associated with a lost cause", but in some major works, he had given equal prominence to Napoleon and anonymous dead or dying figures. Géricault had been particularly impressed by the 1804 painting Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-Victims of Jaffa, by Gros.

  The young Géricault had painted copies of work by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758–1823), whose "thunderously tragic pictures" include his masterpiece, Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, where oppressive darkness and the compositional base of a naked, sprawled corpse obviously influenced Géricault's painting.

The foreground figure of the older man may be a reference to Ugolino from Dante's Inferno—a subject that Géricault had contemplated painting—and seems to borrow from a painting of Ugolini by Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) that Géricault may have known from prints. In Dante, Ugolino is guilty of cannibalism, which was one of the most sensational aspects of the days on the raft.

Géricault seems to allude to this through the borrowing from Fuseli. An early study for The Raft of the Medusa in watercolour, now in the Louvre, is much more explicit, depicting a figure gnawing on the arm of a headless corpse.

Several English and American paintings including The Death of Major Pierson by John Singleton Copley (1738–1815)—also painted within 2 years of the event—had established a precedent for a contemporary subject. Copley had also painted several large and heroic depictions of disasters at sea which Géricault may have known from prints: Watson and the Shark (1778), in which a black man is central to the action, and which, like The Raft of the Medusa, concentrated on the actors of the drama rather than the seascape; The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782 (1791), which was an influence on both the style and subject matter of Géricault's work; and Scene of a Shipwreck (1790s), which has a strikingly similar composition.

A further important precedent for the political component was the works of Francisco Goya, particularly his The Disasters of War series of 1810–12, and his 1814 masterpiece The Third of May 1808. Goya also produced a painting of a disaster at sea, called simply Shipwreck (date unknown), but although the sentiment is similar, the composition and style have nothing in common with The Raft of the Medusa. It is unlikely that Géricault had seen the picture.

 
 

Study c. 1818–1819, 38 cm × 46 cm, Louvre. This preparatory oil sketch nearly fully realises the positions of the figures in the final work.
 
 
Exhibition and reception
The Raft of the Medusa was first shown at the 1819 Paris Salon, under the generic title Scène de Naufrage (Scene of Shipwreck), although its real subject would have been unmistakable for contemporary viewers. Géricault's Raft was the star at the Salon of 1819: "It strikes and attracts all eyes" (Le Journal de Paris). Louis XVIII visited the Salon three days before the opening, and reportedly said "Monsieur, vous venez de faire un naufrage qui n'en est pas un pour vous", freely translated as "Monsieur Géricault, your shipwreck is certainly no disaster". Critics were divided: the horror and "terribilità" of the subject exercised fascination, but devotees of classicism expressed their distaste for what they described as a "pile of corpses," whose realism they considered a far cry from the "ideal beauty" incarnated by Girodet's Pygmalion and Galatea (which triumphed the same year). Géricault's work expressed a paradox: how could a hideous subject be translated into a powerful painting, how could the painter reconcile art and reality? Marie-Philippe Coupin de la Couperie, a French painter and contemporary of Géricault, was categorical: "Monsieur Géricault seems mistaken. The goal of painting is to speak to the soul and the eyes, not to repel." The painting had fervent admirers too, including French writer and art critic Auguste Jal who praised its political theme, its liberal position (the advancement of the "negro", the critique of ultra-royalism), and its modernity. For French historian Jules Michelet, "our whole society is aboard the raft of the Medusa".

The exhibition was sponsored by Louis XVIII and featured nearly 1,300 individual paintings, 208 sculptures and numerous other engravings and architectural designs. The contemporary critic Frank Anderson Trapp suggested that the volume of work shown and the sheer scale of the event indicates the ambition behind the exhibition. Trapp notes that the fact that "100 grandiose history paintings [were included] in itself proclaimed a munificent government patronage", for aside from a few affluent competitors like Géricault, only those favoured by a major commission could afford the outlay of time, energy and money necessary for undertakings of this kind.

Géricault had deliberately sought to be both politically and artistically confrontational. Critics responded to his aggressive approach in kind, and their reactions were either ones of revulsion or praise, depending on whether the writer's sympathies favoured the Bourbon or Liberal viewpoint. The painting was seen as largely sympathetic to the men on the raft, and thus by extension to the anti-imperial cause adopted by the survivors Savigny and Corréard. The decision to place a black man at the pinnacle of the composition would have been controversial, and was an expression of Géricault's abolitionist sympathies; the art critic Christine Riding has speculated that the painting's subsequent exhibition in London was planned to coincide with anti-slavery agitation there. The painting was a political statement; the incompetent captain was an inexperienced sailor, but a politically sound anti-Bonapartist. According to contemporary art critic and curator Karen Wilkin, Géricault's painting acts as a "cynical indictment of the bungling malfeasance of France's post-Napoleonic officialdom, much of which was recruited from the surviving families of the Ancien Régime".
  The painting generally impressed the viewing public, although its subject matter repelled many, thus denying Géricault the popular acclaim which he had hoped to achieve. At the end of the exhibition, the painting was awarded a gold medal by the judging panel, yet they refrained from giving the work the greater prestige of being selected for the Louvre's national collection.

Instead, Géricault was awarded a commission on the subject of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which he clandestinely offered (along with the fee) to Delacroix, whose finished painting he then signed as his own. Géricault retreated to the countryside, where he collapsed from exhaustion, and his work, having found no buyer, was rolled up and stored in a friend's studio.
Géricault arranged for the painting to be exhibited in London in 1820, where it was shown at William Bullock's Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, from June 10 until the end of the year, and viewed by about 40,000 visitors. The reception in London was more positive than that in Paris, and the painting was hailed as representative of a new direction in French art.

In part, this was due to the manner of the painting's exhibition: in Paris it had initially been hung high in the Salon Carré—a mistake that Géricault recognised when he saw the work installed—but in London it was placed close to the ground, emphasising its monumental impact. There may have been other reasons for its popularity in England as well, including "a degree of national self-congratulation", the appeal of the painting as lurid entertainment, and two theatrical entertainments based around the events on the raft which coincided with the exhibition and borrowed heavily from Géricault's depiction. From the London exhibition Géricault earned close to 20,000 francs, which was his share of the fees charged to visitors, and substantially more than he would have been paid had the French government purchased the work from him. After the London exhibition, Bullock brought the painting to Dublin early in 1821, but the exhibition there was far less successful, in large part due to a competing exhibition of a moving panorama, "The Wreck of the Medusa" by the Marshall brothers firm, which was said to have been painted under the direction of one of the survivors of the disaster.

The Raft of the Medusa was championed by the curator of the Louvre, comte de Forbin who purchased it from Géricault's heirs after his death in 1824 for the museum, where the painting now dominates its gallery. The display caption tells us that "the only hero in this poignant story is humanity."

At some time between 1826 and 1830 American artist George Cooke (1793–1849) made a copy of the painting in a smaller size, (130.5 x 196.2 cm; approximately 4 ft × 6 ft), which was shown in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. to crowds who knew about the controversy surrounding the shipwreck. Reviews favoured the painting, which also stimulated plays, poems, performances and a children's book. It was bought by a former admiral, Uriah Phillips, who left it in 1862 to the New York Historical Society, where it was miscatalogued as by Gilbert Stuart and remained inaccessible until the mistake was uncovered in 2006, after an enquiry by Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, a professor of art history at the University of Delaware.

 
 
The university's conservation department undertook restoration of the work.

Because of deterioration in the condition of Géricault's original, the Louvre in 1859–60 commissioned two French artists, Pierre-Désiré Guillemet and Étienne-Antoine-Eugène Ronjat, to make a full size copy of the original for loan exhibitions.

In the autumn of 1939, the Medusa was packed for removal from the Louvre in anticipation of the outbreak of war. A scenery truck from the Comédie-Française transported the painting to Versailles in the night of September 3. Some time later, the Medusa was moved to the Château de Chambord where it remained until after the end of the Second World War.

 
 

Michelangelo. Detail of The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Géricault said, "Michelangelo sent shivers up my spine, these lost souls destroying each other inevitably conjure up the tragic grandeur of the Sistine Chapel."
 
 
Interpretation and legacy
In its insistence on portraying an unpleasant truth, The Raft of the Medusa was a landmark in the emerging Romantic movement in French painting, and "laid the foundations of an aesthetic revolution" against the prevailing Neoclassical style. Géricault's compositional structure and depiction of the figures are classical, but the contrasting turbulence of the subject represents a significant change in artistic direction and creates an important bridge between Neoclassical and Romantic styles.

By 1815, Jacques-Louis David, then in exile in Brussels, was both the leading proponent of the popular history painting genre, which he had perfected, and a master of the Neoclassical style. In France, both history painting and the Neoclassical style continued through the work of Antoine-Jean Gros, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, François Gérard, Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Pierre-Narcisse Guérin—teacher of both Géricault and Delacroix—and other artists who remained committed to the artistic traditions of David and Nicolas Poussin.

In his introduction to The Journal of Eugène Delacroix, Hubert Wellington wrote about Delacroix's opinion of the state of French painting just prior to the Salon of 1819. According to Wellington, "The curious blend of classic with realistic outlook which had been imposed by the discipline of David was now losing both animation and interest. The master himself was nearing his end, and exiled in Belgium. His most docile pupil, Girodet, a refined and cultivated classicist, was producing pictures of astonishing frigidity. Gérard, immensely successful painter of portraits under the Empire—some of them admirable—fell in with the new vogue for large pictures of history, but without enthusiasm."

The Raft of the Medusa contains the gestures and grand scale of traditional history painting; however, it presents ordinary people, rather than heroes, reacting to the unfolding drama. Géricault's raft pointedly lacks a hero, and his painting presents no cause beyond sheer survival. The work represents, in the words of Christine Riding, "the fallacy of hope and pointless suffering, and at worst, the basic human instinct to survive, which had superseded all moral considerations and plunged civilised man into barbarism".

The unblemished musculature of the central figure waving to the rescue ship is reminiscent of the Neoclassical, however the naturalism of light and shadow, the authenticity of the desperation shown by the survivors and the emotional character of the composition differentiate it from Neoclassical austerity.

It was a further departure from the religious or classical themes of earlier works because it depicted contemporary events with ordinary and unheroic figures. Both the choice of subject matter and the heightened manner in which the dramatic moment is depicted are typical of Romantic painting—strong indications of the extent to which Géricault had moved from the prevalent Neoclassical movement.

Hubert Wellington said that while Delacroix was a lifelong admirer of Gros, the dominating enthusiasm of his youth was for Géricault. The dramatic composition of Géricault, with its strong contrasts of tone and unconventional gestures, stimulated Delacroix to trust his own creative impulses on a large work.

Delacroix said, "Géricault allowed me to see his Raft of Medusa while he was still working on it." The painting's influence is seen in Delacroix's The Barque of Dante (1822) and reappears as inspiration in Delacroix's later works, such as The Shipwreck of Don Juan (1840).

  According to Wellington, Delacroix's masterpiece of 1830, Liberty Leading the People, springs directly from Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa and Delacroix's own Massacre at Chios. Wellington wrote that "While Géricault carried his interest in actual detail to the point of searching for more survivors from the wreck as models, Delacroix felt his composition more vividly as a whole, thought of his figures and crowds as types, and dominated them by the symbolic figure of Republican Liberty which is one of his finest plastic inventions."
The art and sculpture historian Albert Elsen believed that The Raft of the Medusa and Delacroix's Massacre at Chios provided the inspiration for the grandiose sweep of Auguste Rodin's monumental sculpture The Gates of Hell. He wrote that "Delacroix's Massacre at Chios and Géricault's Raft of the Medusa confronted Rodin on a heroic scale with the innocent nameless victims of political tragedies ... If Rodin was inspired to rival Michelangelo's Last Judgment, he had Géricault's Raft of the Medusa in front of him for encouragement."

While Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) could be described as an anti-Romantic painter, his major works like A Burial at Ornans (1849–50) and The Artist's Studio (1855) owe a debt to The Raft of the Medusa. The influence is not only in Courbet's enormous scale, but in his willingness to portray ordinary people and current political events, and to record people, places and events in real, everyday surroundings. The 2004 exhibition at the Clark Art Institute, Bonjour Monsieur Courbet: The Bruyas Collection from the Musee Fabre, Montpellier, sought to compare the 19th-century Realist painters Courbet, Honoré Daumier (1808–1879), and early Édouard Manet (1832–1883) with artists associated with Romanticism, including Géricault and Delacroix. Citing The Raft of the Medusa as an instrumental influence on Realism, the exhibition drew comparisons between all of the artists. The critic Michael Fried sees Manet directly borrowing the figure of the man cradling his son for the composition of Angels at the Tomb of Christ.

The influence of The Raft of the Medusa was felt by artists beyond France. Francis Danby, a British painter born in Ireland, probably was inspired by Géricault's picture when he painted Sunset at Sea after a Storm in 1824, and wrote in 1829 that The Raft of the Medusa was "the finest and grandest historical picture I have ever seen".

The subject of marine tragedy was undertaken by J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), who, like many English artists, probably saw Géricault's painting when it was exhibited in London in 1820. His A Disaster at Sea (c. 1835) chronicled a similar incident, this time a British catastrophe, with a swamped vessel and dying figures also placed in the foreground. Placing a coloured figure in the centre of the drama was revisited by Turner, with similar abolitionist overtones, in his The Slave Ship (1840).

The Gulf Stream (1899), by the American artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910), replicates the composition of The Raft of the Medusa with a damaged vessel, ominously surrounded by sharks and threatened by a waterspout. Like Géricault, Homer makes a black man the pivotal figure in the scene, though here he is the vessel's sole occupant. A ship in the distance mirrors the Argus from Géricault's painting. The move from the drama of Romanticism to the new Realism is exemplified by the stoic resignation of Homer's figure. The man's condition, which in earlier works might have been characterised by hope or helplessness, has turned to "sullen rage".

In the early 90's, sculptor John Connell, in his Raft Project, a collaborative project with painter Eugene Newmann, recreated The Raft of the Medusa by making life-sized sculptures out of wood, paper and tar and placing them on a large wooden raft.

 
 
Remarking on the contrast between the dying figures in the foreground and the figures in the mid-ground waving towards the approaching rescue ship, the French art historian Georges-Antoine Borias wrote that Géricault's painting represents, "on the one hand, desolation and death. On the other, hope and life."

For Kenneth Clark, The Raft of the Medusa "remains the chief example of romantic pathos expressed through the nude; and that obsession with death, which drove Géricault to frequent mortuary chambers and places of public execution, gives truth to his figures of the dead and the dying. Their outlines may be taken from the classics, but they have been seen again with a craving for violent experience."

Today, a bronze bas-relief of The Raft of the Medusa by Antoine Étex adorns Géricault's grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
     
 
Theodore Gericault
 
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Ruskin John
 

John Ruskin, (born February 8, 1819, London, England—died January 20, 1900, Coniston, Lancashire), English critic of art, architecture, and society who was a gifted painter, a distinctive prose stylist, and an important example of the Victorian Sage, or Prophet: a writer of polemical prose who seeks to cause widespread cultural and social change.

 

John Ruskin in 1863
  Early life and influences
Ruskin was born into the commercial classes of the prosperous and powerful Britain of the years immediately following the Napoleonic Wars. His father, John James Ruskin, was a Scots wine merchant who had moved to London and made a fortune in the sherry trade. John Ruskin, an only child, was largely educated at home, where he was given a taste for art by his father’s collecting of contemporary watercolours and a minute and comprehensive knowledge of the Bible by his piously Protestant mother.

This combination of the religious intensity of the Evangelical Revival and the artistic excitement of English Romantic painting laid the foundations of Ruskin’s later views. In his formative years, painters such as J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, and John Sell Cotman were at the peak of their careers. At the same time religious writers and preachers such as Charles Simeon, John Keble, Thomas Arnold, and John Henry Newman were establishing the spiritual and ethical preoccupations that would characterize the reign of Queen Victoria.

Ruskin’s family background in the world of business was significant, too: it not only provided the means for his extensive travels to see paintings, buildings, and landscapes in Britain and continental Europe but also gave him an understanding of the newly rich, middle-class audience for which his books would be written.

Ruskin discovered the work of Turner through the illustrations to an edition of Samuel Rogers’s poem Italy given him by a business partner of his father in 1833.

 
 
By the mid-1830s he was publishing short pieces in both prose and verse in magazines, and in 1836 he was provoked into drafting a reply (unpublished) to an attack on Turner’s painting by the art critic of Blackwood’s Magazine. After five years at the University of Oxford, during which he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry but was prevented by ill health from sitting for an honours degree, Ruskin returned, in 1842, to his abandoned project of defending and explaining the late work of Turner.
 
 

John Ruskin painted by the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais standing at Glenfinlas, Scotland, (1853–54).
  Art criticism
In 1843 Ruskin published the first volume of Modern Painters, a book that would eventually consist of five volumes and occupy him for the next 17 years. His first purpose was to insist on the “truth” of the depiction of Nature in Turner’s landscape paintings. Neoclassical critics had attacked the later work of Turner, with its proto-Impressionist concern for effects of light and atmosphere, for mimetic inaccuracy, and for a failure to represent the “general truth” that had been an essential criterion of painting in the age of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Drawing on his serious amateur interests in geology, botany, and meteorology, Ruskin made it his business to demonstrate in detail that Turner’s work was everywhere based on a profound knowledge of the local and particular truths of natural form. One after another, Turner’s “truth of tone,” “truth of colour,” “truth of space,” “truth of skies,” “truth of earth,” “truth of water,” and “truth of vegetation” were minutely considered, in a laborious project that would not be completed until the appearance of the fifth and final volume of Modern Painters in 1860. This shift of concern from general to particular conceptions of truth was a key feature of Romantic thought, and Ruskin’s first major achievement was thus to bring the assumptions of Romanticism to the practice of art criticism. By 1843 avant-garde painters had been working in this new spirit for several decades, but criticism and public understanding had lagged behind. More decisively than any previous writer, Ruskin brought 19th-century English painting and 19th-century English art criticism into sympathetic alignment. As he did so, he alerted readers to the fact that they had, in Turner, one of the greatest painters in the history of Western art alive and working among them in contemporary London, and, in the broader school of English landscape painting, a major modern art movement.
 
 

Ruskin did this in a prose style peculiarly well adapted to the discussion of the visual arts in an era when there was limited reproductive illustration and no easy access to well-stocked public art galleries. In these circumstances the critic was obliged to create in words an effective sensory and emotional substitute for visual experience. Working in the tradition of the Romantic poetic prose of Charles Lamb and Thomas De Quincey, though more immediately influenced by the descriptive writing of Sir Walter Scott, the rhetoric of the Bible, and the blank verse of William Wordsworth, Ruskin vividly evoked the effect on the human eye and sensibility both of Turner’s paintings and of the actual landscapes that Turner and other artists had sought to represent.

In the process Ruskin introduced the newly wealthy commercial and professional classes of the English-speaking world to the possibility of enjoying and collecting art. Since most of them had been shaped by an austerely puritanical religious tradition, Ruskin knew that they would be suspicious of claims for painting that stressed its sensual or hedonic qualities. Instead, he defined painting as “a noble and expressive language, invaluable as the vehicle of thought, but by itself nothing.” What that language expressed, in Romantic landscape painting, was a Wordsworthian sense of a divine presence in Nature: a morally instructive natural theology in which God spoke through physical “types.” Conscious of the spiritual significance of the natural world, young painters should “go to Nature in all singleness of heart…having no other thoughts but how best to penetrate her meaning, and remember her instruction; rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing.”

Three years later, in the second volume of Modern Painters (1846), Ruskin would specifically distinguish this strenuously ethical or Theoretic conception of art from the Aesthetic, undidactic, or art-for-art’s-sake definition that would be its great rival in the second half of the 19th century. Despite his friendships with individual Aesthetes, Ruskin would remain the dominant spokesman for a morally and socially committed conception of art throughout his lifetime.

 
 

John Ruskin in 1882
  Art, architecture, and society
After the publication of the first volume of Modern Painters in 1843, Ruskin became aware of another avant-garde artistic movement: the critical rediscovery of the painting of the Gothic Middle Ages. He wrote about these Idealist painters (especially Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Benozzo Gozzoli) at the end of the second volume of Modern Painters, and he belatedly added an account of them to the third edition of the first volume in 1846. These medieval religious artists could provide, he believed, in a way in which the Dutch, French, and Italian painters of the 17th and 18th centuries could not, an inspiring model for the art of the “modern” age.

This medievalist enthusiasm was one reason that Ruskin was so ready to lend his support to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), a group of young English artists formed in 1848 to reject the Neoclassical assumptions of contemporary art schools. Ruskin published an enthusiastic pamphlet about the PRB (in which he misleadingly identified them as the natural heirs of Turner) in 1851, wrote letters to the Times in 1851 and 1854 to defend them from their critics, and recommended their work in his Edinburgh Lectures of 1853 (published 1854).

But medievalism was even more important in the field of architecture, where the Gothic Revival was as direct an expression of the new Romantic spirit as the landscape painting of Turner or Constable. Ruskin had been involved in a major Gothic Revival building project in 1844, when George Gilbert Scott redesigned Ruskin’s parents’ parish church, St. Giles’s Camberwell.

 
 

In 1848, newly married to Euphemia (Effie) Gray, Ruskin went on a honeymoon tour of the Gothic churches of northern France and began to write his first major book on buildings, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849). Conceived in the disturbing context of the European revolutions of 1848, the book lays down seven moral principles (or “Lamps”) to guide architectural practice, one of which, “The Lamp of Memory,” articulates the scrupulous respect for the original fabric of old buildings that would inspire William Morris and, through him, the conservation movement of the 20th century. In November Ruskin went abroad again, this time to Venice to research a more substantial book on architecture.

The Stones of Venice was published in three volumes, one in 1851 and two more in 1853. In part it is a laboriously researched history of Venetian architecture, based on long months of direct study of the original buildings, then in a condition of serious neglect and decay. But it is also a book of moral and social polemic with the imaginative structure of a Miltonic or Wordsworthian sublime epic. Ruskin’s narrative charts the fall of Venice from its medieval Eden, through the impiety and arrogance (as Ruskin saw it) of the Renaissance, to its modern condition of political impotence and social frivolity. As such, the book is a distinguished late example of the political medievalism found in the work of William Cobbett, Robert Southey, Thomas Carlyle, and the Young England movement of the 1840s. Ruskin differs from these predecessors both in the poetic power of his prose and in his distinctive—and widely influential—insistence that art and architecture are, necessarily, the direct expression of the social conditions in which they were produced. Here, as elsewhere, the Aesthetic movement, with its view of art as a rebellious alternative to the social norm and its enthusiasm for Renaissance texts and artifacts, stands in direct contrast to Ruskin’s Theoretic views.

The Stones of Venice was influential in other ways as well. Its celebration of Italian Gothic encouraged the use of foreign models in English Gothic Revival architecture. By 1874 Ruskin would regret the extent to which architects had “dignified our banks and drapers’ shops with Venetian tracery.” But, for good or ill, his writing played a key part in establishing the view that the architectural style of Venice, the great maritime trading nation of the medieval world, was particularly appropriate for buildings in modern Britain. The other enduring influence derived, more subtly, from a single chapter in the second volume, “The Nature of Gothic.” There Ruskin identified “imperfection” as an essential feature of Gothic art, contrasting it with the mechanical regularity of Neoclassical buildings and modern mass production. Gothic architecture, he believed, allowed a significant degree of creative freedom and artistic fulfillment to the individual workman. We could not, and should not, take pleasure in an object that had not itself been made with pleasure. In this proposition lay the roots both of Ruskin’s own quarrel with industrial capitalism and of the Arts and Crafts movement of the later 19th century.

 
 


Ruskin in middle-age

  Cultural criticism
Turner died in 1851. Ruskin’s marriage was dissolved, on grounds of nonconsummation, in 1854, leaving the former Effie Gray free to marry the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. Ruskin withdrew somewhat from society. He traveled extensively in Europe and, from 1856 to 1858, took on a considerable body of administrative work as the chief artistic executor of Turner’s estate. He contributed both financially and physically to the construction of a major Gothic Revival building: Benjamin Woodward’s Oxford University Museum.

In 1856 he published the third and fourth volumes of Modern Painters, with their penetrating inquiry into the reasons for the predominance of landscape painting in 19th-century art and their invention of the important critical term “pathetic fallacy.” His annual Academy Notes (a series of pamphlets issued by an English publisher from 1855 to 1859) sustained his reputation as a persuasive commentator on contemporary painting.

But by 1858 Ruskin was beginning to move on from the specialist criticism of art and architecture to a wider concern with the cultural condition of his age.
 
 
His growing friendship with the historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle contributed to this process. Like Carlyle, Ruskin began to adopt the “prophetic” stance, familiar from the Bible, of a voice crying from the wilderness and seeking to call a lapsed people back into the paths of righteousness.

This marginal role as a disenchanted outsider both legitimized and, to an extent, required a ferocity and oddness that would be conspicuous features of Ruskin’s later career.
 
 
In 1858 Ruskin lectured on “The Work of Iron in Nature, Art and Policy” (published in The Two Paths, 1859), a text in which both the radical-conservative temper and the symbolic method of his later cultural criticism are clearly established. Beginning as an art critic, Ruskin contrasts the exquisite sculptured iron grilles of medieval Verona with the mass-produced metal security railings with which modern citizens protect their houses. The artistic contrast is, of course, also a social contrast, and Ruskin goes rapidly beyond this to a symbolic assertion of the “iron” values involved in his definition of the just society. By wearing the fetters of a benignly neofeudalist social order, men and women, Ruskin believed, might lead lives of greater aesthetic fulfillment, in an environment less degraded by industrial pollution.

These values are persistently restated in Ruskin’s writings of the 1860s, sometimes in surprising ways. Unto This Last and Munera Pulveris (1862 and 1872 as books, though published in magazines in 1860 and 1862–63) are attacks on the classical economics of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Neither book makes any significant technical contribution to the study of economics (though Ruskin thought otherwise); both memorably express Ruskin’s moral outrage at the extent to which the materialist and utilitarian ethical assumptions implicit in this new technique for understanding human behaviour had come to be accepted as normative. Sesame and Lilies (1865) would become notorious in the late 20th century as a stock example of Victorian male chauvinism.

In fact, Ruskin was using the conventional construction of the feminine, as pacific, altruistic, and uncompetitive, to articulate yet another symbolic assertion of his anticapitalist social model.
The Crown of Wild Olive (1866, enlarged in 1873) collects some of the best specimens of Ruskin’s Carlylean manner, notably the lecture “Traffic” of 1864, which memorably draws its audience’s attention to the hypocrisy manifested by their choice of Gothic architecture for their churches but Neoclassical designs for their homes.

  The dogmatic Protestantism of Ruskin’s childhood had been partially abandoned in 1858, after an “unconversion” experience in Turin. Ten years later, in a moving lecture on “The Mystery of Life and Its Arts,” Ruskin reflected on his returning sense of the spiritual and transcendent. In The Queen of the Air (1869) he attempted to express his old concept of a divine power in Nature in new terms calculated for an age in which assent to the Christian faith was no longer automatic or universal. Through an account of the Greek myth of Athena, Ruskin sought to suggest an enduring human need for—and implicit recognition of—the supernatural authority on which the moral stresses of his artistic, political, and cultural views depend.

His father’s death in 1864 had left Ruskin a wealthy man. He used his wealth, in part, to promote idealistic social causes, notably the Guild of St. George, a pastoral community first planned in 1871 and formally constituted seven years later. From 1866 to 1875 he was unhappily in love with a woman 30 years his junior, Rose La Touche, whose physical and mental deterioration caused him acute distress. During these years he began, himself, to show signs of serious psychological illness. In 1871 he bought Brantwood, a house in the English Lake District (now a museum of his work) and lived there for the rest of his life.

Ruskin’s appointment as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford in 1870 was a welcome encouragement at a troubled stage of his career, and in the following year he launched Fors Clavigera, a one-man monthly magazine in which, from 1871 to 1878 and 1880 to 1884 he developed his idiosyncratic cultural theories. Like his successive series of Oxford lectures (1870–79 and 1883–84), Fors is an unpredictable mixture of striking insights, powerful rhetoric, self-indulgence, bigotry, and occasional incoherence. As a by-product of the Fors project, however, Ruskin wrote his last major work: his autobiography, Praeterita (1885–89). Unfinished, shamelessly partial (it omits, for example, all mention of his marriage), and chronologically untrustworthy, it provides a subtle and memorable history of the growth of Ruskin’s distinctive sensibility.

 
 

Assessment
In November 1878 the painter James McNeill Whistler’s action for libel against Ruskin—brought after Ruskin’s attack on the impressionist manner of a Whistler Nocturne—came to trial. The trial made the conflict between Ruskin’s moral view of art and Whistler’s Aestheticism a matter of wide public interest. Whistler, awarded only a farthing’s damages and no costs, was driven into bankruptcy. Ruskin suffered no financial ill effects, but his reputation as an art critic was seriously harmed. After this date there was a growing tendency to see him as an enemy of modern art: blinkered, eccentric, and out-of-date.

Modernist artists and critics rejected Ruskin. His stress on the moral, social, and spiritual purposes of art and his Naturalist theory of visual representation were unpopular in the era of Impressionism, Cubism, and Dada. Gothic Revival buildings became deeply unfashionable; the architecture critic Geoffrey Scott, in 1914, would dismiss Ruskin’s architectural theory as “The Ethical Fallacy.”

Since then, Ruskin has gradually been rediscovered. His formative importance as a thinker about ecology, about the conservation of buildings and environments, about Romantic painting, about art education, and about the human cost of the mechanization of work became steadily more obvious. The outstanding quality of his own drawings and watercolours (modestly treated in his lifetime as working notes or amateur sketches) was increasingly acknowledged, as was his role as a stimulus to the flowering of British painting, architecture, and decorative art in the second half of the 19th century.

Above all, Ruskin was rediscovered as a great writer of English prose. Frequently self-contradictory, hectoringly moralistic, and insufficiently informed, Ruskin was nonetheless gifted with exceptional powers of perception and expression. These are the gifts that the poet Matthew Arnold acknowledged when he spoke of “the genius, the feeling, the temperament” of the descriptive writing in the fourth volume of Modern Painters. This unusual capacity to see things and to say what he saw makes Ruskin’s work not just an important episode in the history of taste but also an enduring and distinctive part of English literature.

Nicholas Shrimpton

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1819
 
 
Thorvaldsen: "Lion of Lucerne"
 

The Lion Monument (German: Löwendenkmal), or the Lion of Lucerne, is a sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland, designed by Thorvaldsen Bertel and hewn in 1819–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France. Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."

 
Background
From the early 17th century, a regiment of Swiss mercenaries had served as part of the Royal Household of France. On 6 October 1789, King Louis XVI had been forced to move with his family from the Palace of Versailles to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In June 1791 he tried to flee abroad. In the 1792 10th of August Insurrection, revolutionaries stormed the palace. Fighting broke out spontaneously after the Royal Family had been escorted from the Tuileries to take refuge with the Legislative Assembly. The Swiss Guards ran low on ammunition and were overwhelmed by superior numbers. A note written by the King has survived, ordering the Swiss to retire and return to their barracks, but this was only acted on after their position had become untenable.

Of the Swiss Guards defending the Tuileries, more than six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed. Apart from about a hundred Swiss who escaped from the Tuileries, the only survivors of the regiment were a 300 strong detachment which had been sent to Normandy a few days before August 10. The Swiss officers were mostly amongst those massacred, although Major Karl Josef von Bachmann — in command at the Tuileries —was formally tried and guillotined in September, still wearing his red uniform coat. Two surviving Swiss officers achieved senior rank under Napoleon.

  Memorial
The initiative to create the monument was taken by Karl Pfyffer von Altishofen, an officer of the Guards who had been on leave in Lucerne at that time of the fight.

He began collecting money in 1818.

The monument was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, and finally hewn in 1819–21 by Lukas Ahorn, in a former sandstone quarry near Lucerne.

Carved into the cliff face, the monument measures a staggering ten meters in length and six meters in height.

The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti ("To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss").

The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy; beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland.

The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers and gives the approximate numbers of soldiers who died (DCCLX = 760), and survived (CCCL = 350).

The monument is described by Thomas Carlyle in The French Revolution: A History. The pose of the lion was copied in 1894 by Thomas M. Brady (1849–1907) for his Lion of Atlanta in the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

Thorvaldsen Bertel. The Lion of Lucerne.
1819-21
Stone
Lucerne
 
 

Mark Twain on the monument

The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.

— Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880

 
 

Thorvaldsen Bertel. The Lion of Lucerne.
 
 
 
     
 
Bertel Thorvaldsen
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Turner: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
 
 

Turner J.M.W.: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
 
 
 
     
 
J.M.W. Turner
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Museo del Prado
 

The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is considered one the greatest museums of art in the world. The numerous works by Francisco de Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Diego Velázquez, El Greco, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch are some of the highlights of the collection.

 
The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents. By 2012 the Museum will be displaying about 1,300 works in the main buildings, while around 3,100 works are on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions. The remainder are in storage. The museum received 2.8 million visitors in 2012.

The best-known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez not only provided the Prado with his own works, but his keen eye and sensibility were also responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now the largest outside of Italy.

 
 

Museo del Prado
 
 
History
The building that is now the home of the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed in 1785 by the architect Juan de Villanueva on the orders of Charles III to house the Natural History Cabinet. Nonetheless, the building's final function was not decided until the monarch's grandson, Ferdinand VII, encouraged by his wife, Queen María Isabel de Braganza, decided to use it as a new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures. The Royal Museum, which would soon become known as the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and subsequently the Museo Nacional del Prado, opened to the public for the first time in November 1819. It was created with the double aim of showing the works of art belonging to the Spanish Crown and to demonstrate to the rest of Europe that Spanish art was of equal merit to any other national school.

The first catalogue of the Museum, published in 1819 and solely devoted to Spanish painting, included 311 paintings, although at that time the Museum housed 1,510 from the various royal residences, the Reales Sitios, including works from other schools. The exceptionally important royal collection, which forms the nucleus of the present-day Museo del Prado, started to increase significantly in the 16th century during the time of Charles V and continued under the succeeding Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs. Their efforts and determination led to the Royal Collection being enriched by some of the masterpieces now to be seen in the Prado. These include The Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch, Knight with his Hand on his Breast by El Greco, The Death of the Virgin by Mantegna, The Holy Family, known as "La Perla", by Raphael, Charles V at Mülhberg by Titian, Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet by Tintoretto, Dürer's Self-portrait, Las Meninas by Velázquez, The Three Graces by Rubens, and The Family of Charles IV by Goya.

In addition to works from the Spanish royal collection, other holdings increased and enriched the Museum with further masterpieces, such as the two Majas by Goya. Among the now closed museums whose collections have been added to that of the Prado were the Museo del la Trinidad in 1872, and the Museo de Arte Moderno in 1971. In addition, numerous legacies, donations and purchases have been of crucial importance for the growth of the collection. Various works entered the Prado from the Museo de la Trinidad, including The Fountain of Grace by the School of Van Eyck, the Santo Domingo and San Pedro Martír altarpieces painted for the monastery of Santo Tomás in Ávila by Pedro Berruguete, and the five canvases by El Greco executed for the Colegio de doña María de Aragón. Most of the Museum's 19th-century paintings come from the former Museo de Arte Moderno, including works by the Madrazos, José de Madrazo y Agudo and Federico de Madrazo, Vicente López, Carlos de Haes, Eduardo Rosales and Sorolla. Upon the deposition of Isabella II in 1868, the museum was nationalized and acquired the new name of "Museo del Prado". The building housed the royal collection of arts, and it rapidly proved too small. The first enlargement to the museum took place in 1918.

  Since the creation of the Museo del Prado more than 2,300 paintings have been incorporated into its collection, as well as a large number of sculptures, prints, drawings and works of art through bequests, donations and purchases, which account for most of the New Acquisitions. Numerous bequests have enriched the Museum's holdings, such as the outstanding collection of medals left to the Museum by Pablo Bosch; the drawings and items of decorative art left by Pedro Fernández Durán as well as Van der Weyden's masterpiece, The Virgin and Child; and the Ramón de Errazu bequest of 19th-century paintings. Particularly important donations include Barón Emile d'Erlanger's gift of Goya's Black Paintings in 1881. Among the numerous works that have entered the collection through purchase are some outstanding ones acquired in recent years including two works by El Greco, The Fable and The Flight into Egypt acquired in 1993 and 2001, Goya's Countess of Chinchón bought in 2000, and Velázquez's portrait of The Pope's Barber, acquired in 2003.

Between 1873 and 1900, the Prado helped decorate city halls, new universities, and churches. During the Second Spanish Republic from 1931 to 1936, the focus was on building up provincial museums. During the Spanish Civil War, upon the recommendation of the League of Nations, the museum staff removed 353 paintings, 168 drawings and the Dauphin's Treasure and sent the art to Valencia, then later to Girona, and finally to Geneva. The art had to be returned across French territory in night trains to the museum upon the commencement of World War II. During the early years of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, many paintings were sent to embassies.
The main building was enlarged with short pavilions in the rear between 1900 and 1960. The next enlargement was the incorporation of two buildings (nearby but not adjacent) into the institutional structure of the museum: the Casón del Buen Retiro, which is equipped to display up to 400 paintings and which housed the bulk of the 20th-century art from 1971 to 1997, and the Salón de Reinos (Throne building), formerly the Army Museum.

In 1993, an extension proposed by the Prado's director at the time, Felipe Garin, was quickly abandoned after a wave of criticism. In the late 1990s, a $14 million roof work forced the Velázquez masterpiece Las Meninas to change galleries twice. In 1998, the Prado annex in the nearby Casón del Buen Retiro closed for a $10 million two-year overhaul that included three new underground levels. In 2007, the museum finally executed Rafael Moneo's project to expand its exposition room to 16,000 square meters, hoping to increase the yearly number of visitors from 1.8 million to 2.5 million.

A glass-roofed and wedge-shaped foyer now contains the museum's shops and cafeteria, removing them from the main building to make more room for galleries. The 16th-century Cloister of Jerónimo has been removed stone by stone to make foundations for increased stability of surrounding buildings and will be re-assembled in the new museum's extension. Hydraulic jacks had to be used to prevent the basement walls from falling during construction. The enlargement is an underground building which connects the main building to another one entirely reconstructed.

 
 
Historic structure
The Museo del Prado is one of the buildings constructed during the reign of Charles III (Carlos III) as part of a grandiose building scheme designed to bestow upon Madrid a monumental urban space. The building that lodges the Museum of the Prado was initially conceived by José Moñino y Redondo, conde de Floridablanca and was commissioned in 1785 by Charles III for the reurbanización of the Paseo del Prado. To this end, Charles III called on one of its favorite architects, Juan de Villanueva, author also of the nearby Botanical Garden and the City Hall of Madrid.

The prado ("meadow") that was where the museum now stands gave its name to the area, the Salón del Prado (later Paseo del Prado), and to the museum itself upon nationalisation. Work on the building stopped at the conclusion of Charles III's reign and throughout the Peninsular War and was only initiated again during the reign of Charles III's grandson, Ferdinand VII. The premises had been used as headquarters for the cavalry and a gunpowder-store for the Napoleonic troops based in Madrid during the war.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1819
 
 
Chasseriau Theodore
 

Theodore Chasseriau, (born Sept. 20, 1819, Samana, Dominican Republic—died Oct. 8, 1856, Paris), French painter who attained some measure of success in his attempt to fuse the Neoclassicism of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and the Romanticism of Eugène Delacroix.

 

Portrait of the Artist in a Redingote, 1835
  As a boy, Chassériau entered the studio of Ingres, following his master to Rome in 1834.

Chassériau’s immediate success at the Paris Salon of 1836 was confirmed three years later by a Venus and his “Suzanne,” both in the Louvre.

About 1840, however, he began to grow dissatisfied with the art of Ingres.

Around 1843, Chassériau’s style and subject matter began to show the influence of Ingres’s rival, Delacroix, and he began deliberately attempting to combine the rhythmical linear qualities of Ingres with the colouristic methods of the Romantic master.

His 15 Othello etchings (1844) and his paintings of Moorish and Jewish life following his trip to North Africa (1846) suggest Delacroix, though Chassériau added an exotic quality of his own.

He was also important in the revival of monumental allegorical and religious painting in France, though few of those works survive intact.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 


Othello and Desdemona in Venice, 1850

 
 
 
     
 
Theodore Chasseriau
     
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Beethoven Ludwig deaf
 
 
 
     
 
Ludwig van Beethoven
     
 
 
     
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Offenbach Jacques
 

Jacques Offenbach, original name Jacob Offenbach (born June 20, 1819, Cologne, Prussia [Germany]—died October 5, 1880, Paris, France), composer who created a type of light burlesque French comic opera known as the opérette, which became one of the most characteristic artistic products of the period.

 

Jacques Offenbach
  He was the son of a cantor at the Cologne Synagogue, Isaac Juda Eberst, who had been born at Offenbach am Main. The father was known as “Der Offenbacher,” and the composer was known only by his assumed name, Offenbach. Attracted by Paris’s more tolerant attitude toward Jews, Offenbach’s father took him there in his youth, and in 1833 he was enrolled as a cello student at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1844, having been converted to Roman Catholicism, he married Herminie d’Alcain, the daughter of a Spanish Carlist. In 1849, after playing the cello in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, he became conductor at the Théâtre Français.

In 1855 he opened a theatre of his own, the Bouffes-Parisiens, which he directed until 1866 and where he gave many of his celebrated operettas, among them Orphée aux enfers (1858; Orpheus in the Underworld). He then produced operettas at Ems in Germany and an opéra-ballet in Vienna, Die Rheinnixen (1864; Rhine Spirits). Returning in 1864 to Paris, he produced at the Variétés his successful operetta La Belle Hélène (1864). Other successes followed, including La Vie Parisienne (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867), and La Périchole (1868).

From 1872 to 1876 he directed the Théâtre de la Gaîté, and in 1874 he produced there a revised version of Orphée aux enfers. Described then as an opéra-féerique (“a fairylike opera”), this venture was a financial failure. In 1876 he made a tour of the United States. The remaining years of his life were devoted to composition.
 

 

His only grand opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), remained unfinished at his death. It was orchestrated and provided with recitatives by Ernest Guiraud, who also introduced the famous barcarolle taken from Die Rheinnixen. Described as an opéra-fantastique, it was first produced at the Opéra-Comique on February 10, 1881. Gaîté Parisienne, a suite of Offenbach’s music arranged by Manuel Rosenthal, remains a popular orchestral work as well as ballet score.
Offenbach is credited with writing in a fluent, elegant style and with a highly developed sense of both characterization and satire (particularly in his irreverent treatment of mythological subjects); he was called by Gioachino Rossini “our little Mozart of the Champs-Elysées.” Indeed, he was almost as prolific as Mozart. He wrote more than 100 stage works, many of which, transcending topical associations, were maintained in the repertory of the 21st century.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 

Poster by Offenbach's friend Nadar
 
 
Offenbach - Barcarole
 
The Philadelphia Orchestra
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
Jacques Offenbach
 
     
 
 
     
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Schumann Clara
 

Clara Schumann (nee Clara Josephine Wieck; 13 September 1819 – 20 May 1896) was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann. Together they encouraged Johannes Brahms. She was the first to perform publicly any work by Brahms. She later premiered some other pieces by Brahms, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.

 
Early life
Clara Josephine Wieck was born in Leipzig on 13 September 1819 to Friedrich Wieck and Marianne Wieck (née Tromlitz). Marianne Tromlitz was a famous singer in Leipzig at the time and was singing solos on a weekly basis at the well-known Gewandhaus in Leipzig. The differences between her parents were irreconcilable, in large part due to her father's unyielding nature. After an affair between Clara's mother and Adolph Bargiel, her father's friend, the Wiecks divorced in 1824 and Marianne married Bargiel. Five-year-old Clara remained with her father.
 
 

Clara Schumann by Franz von Lenbach, 1878
  Child prodigy
From an early age, Clara's career and life was planned down to the smallest detail by her father. She daily received a one-hour lesson (in piano, violin, singing, theory, harmony, composition, and counterpoint), and two hours of practice, using the teaching methods he had developed on his own. In March 1828, at the age of eight, the young Clara Wieck performed at the Leipzig home of Dr. Ernst Carus, director of the mental hospital at Colditz Castle.

There she met another gifted young pianist who had been invited to the musical evening, named Robert Schumann, who was nine years older. Schumann admired Clara's playing so much that he asked permission from his mother to discontinue his law studies, which had never interested him much, and take music lessons with Clara's father. While taking lessons, he took rooms in the Wieck household, staying about a year. He would dress up as a ghost and scare Clara. This created a bond,

In 1830, at the age of eleven, Clara left on a concert tour to Paris via other European cities, accompanied by her father. She gave her first solo concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. In Weimar, she performed a bravura piece by Henri Herz for Goethe, who presented her with a medal with his portrait and a written note saying: "For the gifted artist Clara Wieck". During that tour, Niccolò Paganini was in Paris, and he offered to appear with her.

However, her Paris recital was poorly attended, as many people had fled the city due to an outbreak of cholera.

 
 

The appearance of this artist can be regarded as epoch-making.... In her creative hands, the most ordinary passage, the most routine motive acquires a significant meaning, a colour, which only those with the most consummate artistry can give.

An anonymous music critic, writing of Clara Wieck's 1837–1838 Vienna recitals

 
At the age of 18, Clara Wieck performed a series of recitals in Vienna from December 1837 to April 1838. Austria's leading dramatic poet, Franz Grillparzer, wrote a poem entitled "Clara Wieck and Beethoven" after hearing Wieck perform the Appassionata sonata during one of these recitals. Wieck performed to sell-out crowds and laudatory critical reviews; Benedict Randhartinger, a friend of Franz Schubert (1797–1828), gave Wieck an autographed copy of Schubert's Erlkönig, inscribing it "To the celebrated artist, Clara Wieck." Frédéric Chopin described her playing to Franz Liszt, who came to hear one of Wieck's concerts and subsequently "praised her extravagantly in a letter that was published in the Parisian Revue et Gazette Musicale and later, in translation, in the Leipzig journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik." On 15 March, Wieck was named a Königliche und Kaiserliche Kammervirtuosin ("Royal and Imperial Chamber Virtuoso"), Austria's highest musical honor.
 
 

Clara Wieck, from an 1835 lithograph
  Marriage to Robert
Robert was a little more than 9 years older than Clara and moved into the Wieck household as a piano student of Friedrich's by the end of 1830 when she was only 11 and he was 20. In 1837 when she was 18, he proposed to her and she accepted. Then Robert asked Friedrich for Clara's hand in marriage. Wieck was strongly opposed to the marriage, as he did not much approve of Robert, and did not give permission. Robert and Clara had to go to court and sue Friedrich. The judge's decision was to allow the marriage. In 1840, despite Friedrich's objections, Clara and Robert were married. They maintained a joint musical diary.

Meeting Joachim
She and Robert first met violinist Joachim in November 1844, when he was just of age 14. A year later she wrote in her diary that in a concert on Nov. 11, 1845. "little Joachim was very much liked. He played a new violin concerto of Mendelssohn's, which is said to be wonderful". In May 1853 they heard Joachim play the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto. Clara wrote in the diary that he played "with a finish, a depth of poetic feeling, his whole soul in every note, so ideally, that I have never heard violin-playing like it, and I can truly say that I have never received so indelible an impression from any virtuoso."

 
 
From that time there was a friendship between Clara and Joachim, which "for more than forty years never failed Clara in things great or small, never wavered in its loyalty."
 
 
Brahms coming on the scene
Also in the spring of 1853, the then unknown 20-year-old Brahms met Joachim (only a few years older, but by then an acknowledged virtuoso) in Hanover, made a very favorable impression on him, and got from him a letter of introduction to Robert Schumann. Brahms went and presented himself at the Schumanns' home in Dŭsseldorf. He played some of his own piano solo compositions. Both Schumanns were deeply impressed. Robert published an article highly lauding Brahms. Clara wrote in the diary that Brahms "seemed as if sent straight from God."

Robert's confinement and death
Robert attempted suicide in February 1854 and then was committed to an asylum for the last two years of his life. In March 1854, Brahms, Joachim, Albert Dietrich, and Julius Otto Grimm spent time with Clara, playing music for or with her to divert her mind from the tragedy. Robert passed away 29 July 1856.

  Tours, often to England, often with Joachim
Clara first went to England in April 1856, while Robert was still living (but unable to travel). She was invited to play in a London Philharmonic Society concert by conductor William Sterndale Bennett, a good friend of Robert's.
Clara was displeased with the little time spent on rehearsals: "They call it a rehearsal here, if a piece is played through once." She wrote that musical "artists" in England "allow themselves to be treated as inferiors." She was happy, though, to hear the cellist Alfredo Piatti play with "a tone, a bravura, a certainty, such as I never heard before."

In May 1856 she played Robert's Piano Concerto in A minor with the New Philharmonic Society conducted by a "Dr. Wylde", who Clara said had led a "dreadful rehearsal" and "could not grasp the rhythm of the last movement." She returned to London the following year and many more times in the rest of her career.
 
 
In October–November 1857 Clara and Joachim took a recital tour together to Dresden, Leipzig, and Munich. St. James's Hall, London, which opened in 1858, hosted a series of "Popular Concerts" of chamber music, of which programmes from 1867 through 1904 are preserved. Joachim appears a great many times, as if he made a second home in London. Clara also spent a few months of many years in England and participated in Popular Concerts with Joachim and Piatti.
 
 
Legacy
Although for many years after her death Clara Schumann was not widely recognized as a composer, as a pianist she made an impression which lasts until today. She was one of the first pianists to perform from memory, making that the standard for concertizing. Trained by her father to play by ear and to memorize, she gave public performances from memory as early as age thirteen, a fact noted as something exceptional by her reviewers.

She was also instrumental in changing the kind of programs expected of concert pianists. In her early career, before her marriage to Robert, she played what was then customary, mainly bravura pieces designed to showcase the artist's technique, often in the form of arrangements or variations on popular themes from operas, written by virtuosos such as Thalberg, Herz, or Henselt.




Clara Wiek- Schumann

And, as it was also customary to play one's own compositions, she included at least one of her own works in every program, works such as her Variations on a Theme by Bellini (Op. 8) and her popular Scherzo (Op. 10).

However, as she became a more independent artist, her repertoire contained mainly music by leading composers.

Clara Schumann's influence also spread through her teaching, which emphasized a singing tone and expression, with technique entirely subordinated to the intentions of the composer. One of her students, Mathilde Verne, carried her teaching to England where she taught, among others, Solomon; while another of her students, Carl Friedberg, carried the tradition to the Juilliard School in America, where his students included Malcolm Frager and Bruce Hungerford.

Clara was also instrumental in getting the works of Robert Schumann recognized, appreciated and added to the repertoire.

 
 
She promoted him tirelessly, beginning when his music was unknown or disliked, when the only other important figure in music to play Schumann occasionally was Liszt, and continuing until the end of her long career.
 
 

Clara Schumann, "one of the most soulful and famous pianists of the day", according to Edvard Grieg
  Family life
Clara Schumann often took charge of finances and general household affairs. Part of her responsibility included making money, which she did by giving concerts, although she continued to play throughout her life not only for the income, but because she was a concert artist by training and by nature. She was the main breadwinner for her family, and the sole one after Robert was hospitalized and then died, through giving concerts and teaching, and she did most of the work of organizing her own concert tours. She hired a housekeeper and a cook to keep house while she was away on her long tours. She refused to accept charity when a group of musicians offered to put on a benefit concert for her. In addition to raising her own large family, when one of her children became incapacitated, she took on responsibility for raising her grandchildren. During the May Uprising in Dresden in 1849, she famously walked into the city through the front lines, defying a pack of armed men who confronted her, rescued her children, then walked back out of the city through the dangerous areas again.

Her life was punctuated by tragedy. Four of her eight children and her husband died before she did, and her husband and one of her sons ended their lives in insane asylums. Her first son Emil died in infancy in 1847, aged only one. Her husband Robert had a mental collapse, attempted suicide in 1854, and was committed to an insane asylum for the last two years of his life. In 1872 her daughter Julie died, leaving two small children aged only 2 and 7. In 1879, her son Felix died, aged 25, with her. Her son Ludwig suffered from mental illness like his father and, in her words, had to be "buried alive" in an institution.

 
 

Her son Ferdinand died at the age of 42 in 1891, and she was required to raise his children and he was no longer married. She herself became deaf in later life and she often needed a wheelchair.

Clara and Robert's oldest child, their daughter, Marie, was of great support and help to Clara, When she was of age, she took over the position of household cook. It was Marie who dissuaded Clara from continuing to burn letters she had written to Brahms and he had returned, requesting that she destroy them. Another daughter, Eugenie, who had been too young to remember Robert, wrote a book on the Schumanns and Brahms.

 
 

Quotations

Composing gives me great pleasure... there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound.

—Clara Schumann


Clara has composed a series of small pieces, which show a musical and tender ingenuity such as she has never attained before. But to have children, and a husband who is always living in the realm of imagination, does not go together with composing. She cannot work at it regularly, and I am often disturbed to think how many profound ideas are lost because she cannot work them out.

—Robert Schumann in the joint diary of Robert and Clara Schumann.

 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Mitscherlich discovers isomorphism
 
 
Mitscherlich Eilhard
 

Eilhard Mitscherlich (7 January 1794 – 28 August 1863) was a German chemist, who is perhaps best remembered today for his law of isomorphism (1819), which states that compounds crystallizing together probably have similar structures and compositions. This relationship was used by Berzelius in early attempts to assign relative masses to the elements.

 

Eilhard Mitscherlich
  Early life and work
Mitscherlich was born at Neuende (now a part of Wilhelmshaven) in the Lordship of Jever, where his father was pastor. His uncle, Christoph Wilhelm Mitscherlich (1760–1854), professor at Göttingen, was in his day a celebrated scholar.

He was educated at Jever under the historian Friedrich Christoph Schlosser, when he went to Heidelberg in 1811, and devoted himself to philology, giving special attention to the Persian language. In 1813 he went to Paris to obtain permission to join the embassy which Napoleon I of France was sending to Persia.

The events of 1814 put an end to this, and Mitscherlich resolved to study medicine in order that he might enjoy that freedom of travel usually allowed in the East to physicians. He began at Göttingen with the study of chemistry, and this so arrested his attention that he gave up the journey to Persia.
From his Göttingen days dates the treatise on certain parts of Eurasian history, compiled from manuscripts in the university library and published in Persian and Latin in 1814, under the title Mirchondi historia Thaheridarum historicis nostris hucusque incognitorum Persiae principum.

In 1818 Mitscherlich went to Berlin and worked in the laboratory of Heinrich Friedrich Link (1767–1851).

 
 
There he made analyses of phosphates and phosphites, arsenates and arsenites, confirming the conclusions of Jöns Jakob Berzelius as to their composition; and his observation that corresponding phosphates and arsenates crystallize in the same form was the germ from which grew the theory of isomorphism, which he communicated to the Berlin Academy in December 1819. In that year Berzelius suggested Mitscherlich to the Prussian education minister Karl vom Stein zum Altenstein as successor to Martin Heinrich Klaproth at Berlin. Altenstein did not immediately carry out this proposal, but he obtained for Mitscherlich a government grant to enable him to continue his studies in Berzelius' laboratory at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Mitscherlich returned to Berlin in 1821, and in the summer of 1822 he delivered his first lecture as extraordinary professor of chemistry in the university, where in 1825 he was appointed ordinary professor. In 1823, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
 
 
Isomorphism
In the course of investigating slight differences discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in the angles of the rhombohedra of the carbonates isomorphous with calc-spar, Mitscherlich observed that the angle in the case of calc-spar varied with the temperature. On extending this inquiry to other allotropic crystals, he observed a similar variation, and was thus led, in 1825, to the discovery that allotropic crystals, when heated, expand unequally in the direction of dissimilar axes.

In the following year he discovered the change, produced by change of temperature, in the direction of the optic axes of selenite. His investigation, also in 1826, of the two crystalline modifications of sulfur threw much light on the fact that the two minerals calc-spar and aragonite have the same composition but different crystalline forms, a property which Mitscherlich called isomorphism.
  Later work and last years
In 1833 Mitscherlich made a series of careful determinations of the vapor densities of a large number of volatile substances, confirming the law of Gay-Lussac. In 1833-34, Mitscherlich investigated the synthesis of diethyl ether from ethanol and sulfuric acid. Through his careful studies, he realized that the acid was not being consumed during the production of the ether, although the reaction would not proceed unless the acid was present. After reviewing Mitscherlich's findings, Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius was led to coin the term "catalysis" for the acceleration or enablement of a chemical reaction by a substance that itself was not consumed in the reaction. He obtained selenic acid in 1827 and showed that its salts are isomorphous with the sulphates, while a few years later he proved that the same thing is true of the manganates and the sulfates, and of the permanganates and the perchlorates.
 
 
He investigated the relation of benzene to benzoic acid and to other derivatives. In 1829-1830 he published his Lehrbuch der Chemie, which embodied many original observations. His interest in mineralogy led him to study the geology of volcanic regions, and he made frequent visits to the Eifel with a view to the discovery of a theory of volcanic action. He did not, however, publish any papers on the subject, though after his death his notes were arranged and published by Dr. J. L. A. Roth in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy (Ueber die vulkanischen Erscheinungen in der Eifel und über die Metamorphie der Gesteine durch erhöhte Temperatur, Berlin, 1865).

Mitscherlich was an honorary member of almost all the great scientific societies, and received the gold medal from the Royal Society of London for his discovery of the law of isomorphism. He was one of the few foreign associates of the French Institute.

In December 1861, symptoms of heart disease made their appearance, but Mitscherlich was able to carry on his academic work until December 1862. He died at Schöneberg near Berlin in 1863 and was buried in the St Matthäus Kirchhof Cemetery in Schöneberg close to the (eventual) gravesites of Gustav Kirchhoff and Leopold Kronecker.

 
 

Papers
Mitscherlich's published papers are chiefly to be found in the Abhandlungen of the Berlin Academy, in Poggendorff's Annalen, and in the Annales de chimie et de physique.

The fourth edition of Mitscherlich's Lehrbuch der Chemie was published in 1844-1847; a fifth was begun in 1855, but was never completed. A complete edition of his works was published at Berlin in 1896.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1819
 
 
Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted discovers electromagnetism
 
 
Oersted Hans Christian
 

Hans Christian Oersted (often rendered Oersted in English; 14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism. He shaped post-Kantian philosophy and advances in science throughout the late 19th century.

 
In 1824, Orsted founded Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse (SNU), a society to disseminate knowledge of the natural sciences. He was also the founder of predecessor organizations which eventually became the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Ørsted was the first modern thinker to explicitly describe and name the thought experiment.

A leader of the so-called Danish Golden Age, Orsted was a close friend of Hans Christian Andersen and the brother of politician and jurist Anders Sandøe Orsted, who eventually served as Danish prime minister (1853–54).

The oersted (Oe), the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him.

 
 

Hans Christian Oersted
  Early life and studies
Orsted was born in Rudkøbing. As a young boy Ørsted developed his interest in science while working for his father, who owned a pharmacy. He and his brother Anders received most of their early education through self-study at home, going to Copenhagen in 1793 to take entrance exams for the University of Copenhagen, where both brothers excelled academically.

By 1796 Ørsted had been awarded honors for his papers in both aesthetics and physics. He earned his doctorate in 1799 for a dissertation based on the works of Kant entitled "The Architectonics of Natural Metaphysics".

In 1801 Ørsted received a travel scholarship and public grant which enabled him to spend three years travelling across Europe. In Germany he met Johann Wilhelm Ritter, a physicist who believed there was a connection between electricity and magnetism. This made sense to Ørsted since he believed in Kantian ideas about the unity of nature and that deep relationships existed between natural phenomena.

Their conversations drew Ørsted into the study of physics. He became a professor at the University of Copenhagen in 1806 and continued his research with electric currents and acoustics.
Under his guidance the University developed a comprehensive physics and chemistry program and established new laboratories.

 
 
In 1800, Alessandro Volta discovered a galvanic battery inspiring Ørsted to think about the nature of electricity and to conduct his first electrical experiments. Between 1800 to 1803, he visited to Germany, France and Holland for lectures. He again visited Germany and France in 1812 after publishing a manual called Videnskaben om Naturens Almindelige Love and Første Indledning til den Almindelige Naturlære (1811). In Berlin he wrote his famous essay on the identity of chemical and electrical forces in which he first stated the connection existing between magnetism and electricity. Then, in Paris he translated that essay in latin with Marcel de Serres.

The Royal Society of London gave him the Copley Medal and the French Academy awarded him with 3,000 gold francs. Ørsted was just 43 when he made this great discovery. He established the Royal Polytechnic Institute in 1829 of which he was the first director.

 
 

A compass needle with a wire, showing the effect Oersted discovered.
 
 
Electromagnetism
On 21 April 1820, during a lecture, Ørsted noticed a compass needle deflected from magnetic north when an electric current from a battery was switched on and off, confirming a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. His initial interpretation was that magnetic effects radiate from all sides of a wire carrying an electric current, as do light and heat.
 
 


Hans Christian Oersted

  Three months later he began more intensive investigations and soon thereafter published his findings, showing that an electric current produces a circular magnetic field as it flows through a wire. This discovery was not due to mere chance, since Ørsted had been looking for a relation between electricity and magnetism for several years. The special symmetry of the phenomenon was possibly one of the difficulties that retarded the discovery.

It is sometimes claimed that Italian Gian Domenico Romagnosi was the first person who found a relationship between electricity and magnetism, about two decades before Ørsted's 1820 discovery of electromagnetism. Romagnosi's experiments showed that an electric current from a voltaic pile could deflect a magnetic needle. His researches were published in two Italian newspapers and were largely overlooked by the scientific community.

Ørsted's findings stirred much research into electrodynamics throughout the scientific community, influencing French physicist André-Marie Ampère's developments of a single mathematical formula to represent the magnetic forces between current-carrying conductors. Ørsted's work also represented a major step toward a unified concept of energy.

In 1822, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

 
 
Later years
In 1825, Ørsted made a significant contribution to chemistry by producing aluminium for the first time. While an aluminium-iron alloy had previously been developed by British scientist and inventor Humphry Davy, Ørsted was the first to isolate the element via a reduction of aluminium chloride.

In 1829, Ørsted founded Den Polytekniske Læreanstalt ('College of Advanced Technology') which was later renamed the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Ørsted died at Copenhagen in 1851, aged 73, and was buried in the Assistens Cemetery in the same city.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1819
 
 
Watt James, Scot, inventor, d. (b. 1736)
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Central Asia Exploration
 
 

During the 19th century European explorers tended to congregate in south-central Asia, in the region between Persia and western China. Topographically this is the most complex region on Earth — a jumble ot vast mountain ranges interspersed with high (though not necessarily flat) plateaus and deserts. Other complications played a part, notably political ones, for this was the era of the "Great Game," the time when the Russian and British empires approached, touched, and threatened to clash like the subterranean collisions that threw up the Himalayas. The activities of many of the travelers in this region were more or less secret at the time, and their aims are still not always clear today, their priorities questionable.

 
The wandering vet
 
William Moorcroft is a case in point. He arrived in India as a vet working for the East India Company (over which the
British Government had taken some control in 1784) and was interested in improving animal stocks. His later travels may also have had a political purpose, but the extent to which he was a British agent remains uncertain.

He set off in 1812 with a young Anglo-Indian officer, Hyder Jung Hearsey. Their journey brought them across the Himalayas, into western Tibet, in search of the goat whose wool was used to make Kashmir shawls and jumpers. On the way back they explored Lake Manasarowar, once a place of Hindu pilgrimage and popularly believed to be the source of the Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, and other great rivers: the only one Moorcroft could locate was the Sutlej.

Moorcroft undertook a second, much longer journey in 1819-25, on which he became the first European to travel from India to Bukhara. After two years in Tibet, where he became involved in machinations to combat Russian influence, he stayed in Xinjiang and Kashmir. Here he signed a treaty beneficial to his employers before crossing the Hindu Kush. It appears that he and his British companion mysteriously died in or near Bukhara in 1825, although the French Lazarite missionary Abbe Hue was to insist that Moorcroft was living in Lhasa some years later.
 
 

Moorcroft and Hearsey disguised themselves as fakirs - the latter apparently more successfully than the former - for their journey through the Himalayas (painted here by Hearsey).
 
 
The Russian advance
 
The Russian push into central Asia only seriously got under way in 1825. It was preceded, however, by Russian officers, usually trained surveyors, performing similar tasks to those of Moorcroft and his successors. Among the latter were Alexander Burney and James Gerard, who followed Moorcroft to Bukhara, and James Wood, who found the source of the Oxus (Amudarya) in 1838.

The Russians reached the Aral Sea a few years later, and exploration of its shores revealed the hitherto unknown outlet of the Jaxartes (Syrdarya). By 1860 Russian expeditions had ventured much further. Some were led by scientists like Semenov, who explored the Tien Shan; others were governed by strategic considerations.
 
 
 
 
International travelers
 
In spite of the difficulties (political rather than geographical), numerous travelers from other Western nations entered central Asia in the mid 19th centurv. An American.

Charles Masson, became the greatest non-Asian explorer of Afghanistan. Three German brothers, the Schlagintweits, carried out scientific expeditions in the 1850s, first in India and the Himalayas then further afield, becoming the first Europeans to cross the awesome Kunlun Range between Tibet and Xinjiang. The flamboyant Hungarian Arminius Vambery wrote a colorful account of his travels, but his writings have been shown to contain a substantial element of fiction.

Botanists such as the Frenchman Victor Jacquemont and the Austrian Carl von Hugel traveled in Kashmir and the Himalayas, looking for new flora. Godfrey Vigne moved north of Kashmir in the 1830s to the Karakorams and was the first to describe the Nanga Parbat massif in the western Himalayas. Some people doubted his account of a huge glacier system in the Karakorams on the grounds that glaciers would not exist so near the tropics.
 
 

George Hayward, shown here posing in the dress of a district chief in 1870, was an assertive character. Ironically, he was murdered while exploring in the Pamirs later that year, possibly because he had given offence to just such a chief.
 
 
Imperial agents
 
A rebellion against the Chinese in Xinjiang, which seemed likely to offer another opportunity for the Russians to extend their hegemony, prompted two British expeditions m 1868. The leaders, Robert Shaw and George Hayward (George Jonas Whitaker Hayward (1839–1870) was a well known nineteenth-century British explorer. Information for all but the final few years of his life is scarce. His explorations and horrific murder in central Asia during "The Great Game" eventually earned him a degree of fame), regarded each other as an interloper. Hayward was a notoriously rough-and-ready explorer, but he was also easily diverted, and though he was first through the Karakorams. Shaw narrowly beat him to become the first Briton in Yarkand (Shache). Both were then imprisoned by the rebel leader Yakub Beg in Kashgar, where one of the Schlagintweits had been executed. The British explorers, however, were released after a few months.
Hayward's later journeys took him into the Pamirs, which the British hoped would provide a barrier against the Russians. He was murdered by a local chief in 1870.

His work was continued by Shaw, in company with military experts, who came to the unwelcome conclusion that Russian forces could easily negotiate the passes through the Pamirs.

The most persevering of the British explorers was Ney Elias (Ney Elias(1844 – 1897) was a British explorer, geographer, and diplomat, most known for his extensive travels in Asia. Modern scholars speculate that he was a key intelligence agent for Britain during the Great Game. Elias travelled extensively in the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Pamirs, and Turkestan regions of High Asia.), a truly remarkable traveler who made seven or eight treks through central Asia, the longest of which, begun in 1872, extended to nearly 5000 miles (8000 kilometers). He crossed the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains between China and Mongolia, rode over 2000 miles (3200 kilometers) across Siberia in a horse-drawn sleigh, camping out — in midwinter — at night, until he arrived at Nizlmiy Novgorod. From there he returned to England by train.

In later years Elias explored the passes in the Pamir mountains and in 1885—86 he became the first Englishman to succeed in crossing them.
 
 
 
Moorcroft William
 

William Moorcroft (1767 – 27 August 1825), English explorer, was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, the illegitimate son of Ann Moorcroft, daughter of a local farmer. He was Baptised in 1767 in St Peter & St Paul the Parish Church of Ormskirk where there is a commemorative plaque to his life. While employed by the East India Company Moorcroft travelled extensively throughout the Himalayas, Tibet and Central Asia, eventually reaching Bukhara, in present day Uzbekistan.

 
Early life and education
Moorcroft's family had sufficient means to secure an apprenticeship with a surgeon in Liverpool but during this time an unknown disease decimated cattle herds in Lancashire and young William was recruited to treat stricken animals. His proficiency so impressed the county landowners they offered to underwrite his education if he would abandon surgery to attend a veterinarian college in Lyon, France. He arrived in France in the revolutionary year of 1789 and became the first Englishman to qualify as a veterinary surgeon. On completing his course he began practice in London, established a "hospital for horses" on Oxford Street, helped found the first British veterinary college, proposed new surgical methods for curing lameness in horses, and acquired four patents on machines to manufacture horseshoes. In 1795, Moorcroft published a pamphlet of directions for the medical treatment of horses, with special reference to India, and in 1800 a Cursory Account of the Methods of Shoeing Horses.
 
 
Superintendent of stud
In 1803 a citizen army was mobilised to defend Britain against a threatened Napoleonic invasion. Moorcroft joined the Westminster Volunteer Cavalry. His activities with the volunteers brought him to the attention of Edward Parry, a director of the East India Company. Parry recruited Moorcroft to manage the Company stud in Bengal. In 1808 Moorcroft left the comforts of his home and the security of his thriving practice for Calcutta, India, the seat of British rule.

Everywhere the new Superintendent of Stud looked upon his arrival he found depressing signs of laxness, neglect and ignorance. Often undersized mares were bred with local stallions, the best colts were kept back and stud books falsified. Nevertheless under his care the stud rapidly improved. He took brisk charge of his staff and weeded out deficient horses. Moorcroft became the first to cultivate oats on a large scale in India and set aside 3,000 acres (12 km2) at Pusa for its production.

In 1811 Moorcroft travelled extensively among the northern sub-continent in search of better breeding stock. To Lucknow, the capital of Oudh, and to Benares (then still part of Maratha territory), but Moorcorft failed to acquire the ideal breeding horses that he sought. In Benares he learned that Bukhara was rumoured to have "the greatest horse market in the world." Moorcroft recruited a Persian named Mir Izzat-Allah to make a scouting trip to Bukhara and map out the route. He also learned that fine breeding horses might be found in Tibet.

  Expedition to Tibet
In company with Captain William Hearsey and disguised as gosains, (Hindu trading pilgrims), and encumbered with a stock of merchandise for the purpose of establishing trade relations between India and Central Asia, Moorcroft travelled the upper Ganges through the foothills of the Himalayans. They left Joshimath, well within the mountains, on 26 May 1812.

Proceeding along the valley of the Dauli, a tributary of the Ganges river. They reached the summit of the frontier pass of Niti on 1 July. Here they were met by Rawats with strict orders from Tibet to repel the foreigners. With his charm, the promise of gain, and proficient use of his medical kit, Moorcroft gained the friendship of two influential Rawats, Deb Singh and his brother Bir Singh. The orders from Tibet were ignored and Amer Singh, the son of Bir Singh was recruited to serve as a guide through the Niti pass and over the Tibetan plateau. Arriving at the town of Daba they awaited permission to proceed to Gartok seat of the Garpon, (Governor of western Tibet).

The Garpon agreed to sell them cashmir shawl wool, and granted them permission to travel to the sacred lake of Manasarowar. Moorcroft struck the main upper branch of the Indus near its source, and on 5 August arrived at lake Manasarovar which they explored extensively. Returning by the Sutlej valley he was detained for some time by the Gurkhas in Nepal, but eventually reached Calcutta in November, only to be chastised severely by the Company for his failure to find horses. They were not interested in shawl wool or Tibetan lakes.

 
 

Moorcroft 1819-1825
 
 
Bukhara, the noble city
The journey to Tibet only served to whet Moorcroft's appetite for more extensive travel. But when he broached the idea of a new horse buying expedition to Bukhara in 1816, a searing reply from the Company Board of Managers warned Moorcroft to keep "steady" at his stud duties and not "waste his time" on "wild and romantick (sic) excursions to the banks of the Amoo (Amur) and the plains of Chinese Tartary." What Moorcroft coveted most were the Turkoman horses, with their pale golden coats, narrow chests, long necks and sturdy legs.

The "good Turcoman horses" that Marco Polo had described some 500 years earlier could travel a hundred miles a day for weeks on end. Their descendants, the Akhal-Teke are bred to this day in Turkmenistan and Russia. Moorcroft persisted in his quest and his seven-year campaign was finally rewarded in May 1819 when Charles Metcalfe, head of the Company's Political and Secret Department, granted him leave to proceed. Metcalfe's goal was to use his friend as an intelligence scout on his epic journey.

Moorcroft's preparations took nearly a year. His roster of recruits included the Persian, Mir Izzat Khan, who had already made the trip alone some years before and an Afghan, Gulam Hyder Khan from his previous expedition to Tibet. Nineteen year old George Trebeck, a recent arrival to Calcutta was selected as second in command. The total expedition totalled 300 persons, including an escort of 12 Gurkas, sixteen horses and mules, £4,000 of trading goods, and medical supplies and equipment.

  Leaving the main caravan at the border to the Punjab on the Sutlej, Moorcroft travelled separately to Lahore to obtain permission from Ranjit Singh to traverse his territory. This was finally granted in mid May 1820. He met up with Trebeck and the rest of his party at Sultanpur in the Kulu valley in August. From there the caravan trekked up the Beas River, crossed the 13,300-foot (4,100 m) Rohtang Pass and descended into the Lahul valley and the city of Leh, capital of the Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh. Leh was reached on 24 September, and here several months were spent in exploring the surrounding country. A commercial treaty was concluded with the government of Ladakh, by which the whole of Central Asia was virtually opened to British trade in exchange for British protection. Unfortunately, this treaty would have required the Ladakhi's to break relations with Ranjit Singh, the Maharajah of the Sikh Empire. The East India Company placed a high value on its alliance with Ranjit Singh. Once again Moorcroft had overstepped his authority. His engagement with Ladakh was repudiated and his salary suspended. In all nearly two years were spent in Ladakh, awaiting permission from the Chinese in Yarkand to proceed.

While exploring Ladakh he had a chance encounter with another European, Alexander Csoma de Kőrös a penniless Hungarian philologist from Transylvania. Csoma was searching for the ancient Asian roots of the Hungarian language in the Tibetan tongue. Moorcroft shared his own Tibetan dictionary with the traveller. Csoma failed to prove his thesis but is now widely seen as the founder of Tibetology. It was Moorcroft who steered Kőrösi towards the compilation of the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book for the East India Company.

 
 
Moorcroft continued his journeys; Kashmir was reached on 3 November 1822, Jalalabad on 4 June 1824, Kabul on 20 June, and Bokhara on 25 February 1825.

At Andkhoy, in Afghan Turkestan, Moorcroft was seized with fever, of which he died on 27 August 1825, with Trebeck surviving him only a few days. But according to the Abbé Huc, Moorcroft reached Lhasa in 1826, and lived there twelve years, being assassinated on his way back to India in 1838, although this story of Moorcroft's "second life" has been explained as unlikely.

In 1841, Moorcroft's papers were obtained by the Asiatic Society, and published, under the editorship of H. H. Wilson, under the title of Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hinduslan and the Punjab, in Ladakh and Kashnair, in Peshawur, Kabul, Kunduz and Bokhara, from 1819 to 1825.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
First Sightings of the Antarctic Continent
 
 

James Cook discovered South Georgia in 1775, following which first British, and then American, sealers began the slaughter of thousands of fur seals (for their pelts) and of sea elephants (for their oil) on the island and elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. By the early 1820s the fur seals were almost extinct. The sealers were, of course, rivals and tended to keep their discoveries secret, but the number of vessels engaged in the work makes it certain that various islands and much of the northwestern part of the Antarctic Peninsula became known to them.

 
Edward Bransfield
 
Historians and geographers have argued about who first discovered the Antarctic Peninsula, the long "tail" of Antarctica, which stretches north toward the tip of South America. It is quite certain, however, that Edward Bransfield, in the trading brig Williams, discovered part of the northwestern coast of the peninsula, which he named "Trinity Land" on January 30, 1820. The first chart of this area of the coast of Antarctica was a result of his survey. In November of the same year, the American sealer Nathaniel Brown Palmer, in the shallop Hero, reported land, which was later called "Palmer Land," a name now transferred to the southern Antarctic Peninsula.
 
 

In 1822 James Weddell, a British sealer who had been Master in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, sailed to the Antarctic as captain of the 160-ton brig Jane, accompanied by the 65-ton cutter Beaufoy.
 
 
James Weddell
 
Leaving the port of Leith in Scotland in 1822, a British sealer, James Weddell, in the brig Jane, with the cutter Beaufoy in company, penetrated the sea which now bears his name, as far as 74=l5'S, the furthest south yet attained. On a previous voyage, Weddell had visited the South Shetlands (northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula). His chart of those islands, of the South Orkneys (also off the Antarctic Peninsula) and, in particular, of his voyage in what became known as the Weddell Sea, can be found in his book, which went into two editions, and was entitled A Voyage towards the South Pole, performed in the years 1822—24, containing an Examination of the Antarctic Sea, to the seventy fourth degree of latitude....

Of a scientific and enquiring mind, Weddell made many interesting observations. Few navigators have found the Weddell Sea so relatively free from ice and it is to his great credit that he made the most of his opportunity. Another British sealer, George Powell, also published a chart of the South Shetlands. He and the American sealer Nathaniel Palmer first discovered and charted the South Orkneys during their joint voyages of 1821—22.

 
 
 
 
Thaddeus Bellingshausen
 
 
A worthy successor to James Cook was the Russian naval officer Thaddeus Bellingshausen, who circumnavigated the Antarctic continent in a high southern latitude in 1819—21. The tracks of his ships, Vostok and Mirnyy, complemented those of Cook 50 years before, and he discovered the three northern islands of the South Sandwich Islands that had escaped Cook. Bellingshausen took care to navigate in seas not sailed by Cook and in fact traveled much further than him within the Antarctic Circle.

An English translation of the narrative of the expedition was not published until 1945, so that for many years its achievements were little known in the English-speaking world. In the introduction to this book, The Voyages of Captain Bellingshausen to the Antarctic Seas, the editor, Frank Debenharn, wrote of Cook and Bellingshausen: ''Between them the two great navigators therefore covered about 60° of longitude within the Circle, one sixth of its circumference, yet were unlucky enough to miss the mainland entirely."

Debenham explains one of the reasons for their failure to get close enough to identify Antarctica as solid land as a combination of the effect of the wind and weather on the sailing ship: "When the wind comes from the north in those latitudes, while helping the ship to sail south it invariably brings thick and snowy weather, so that land cannot be seen. When, on the other hand, the south and east winds bring clear weather, they hinder the sailing ship in getting south, and bring out the loose ice from the coast, fending the ships off from a close approach.''

It must be said, however, that the Russians did in fact sight the ice edge of Greater (East) Antarctica in January and February 1820. Opinion differs as to whether this constitutes the discovery of the continent or not. Like Cook, Bellingshausen discovered and surveyed a number of islands in the Southern Ocean, in particular Peter I Island, the first land seen within the Antarctic Circle, and Alexander I Land (Alexander Island). Both are west of the Antarctic Peninsula on the margins of what is now called the Bellingshausen Sea.
 
The "crow's nest"
The "crow's nest" was a special feature of polar ships. Believed to have been invented some 200 years ago by Captain William Scoresby Snr, for use when whaling in the Arctic, it was a canvas or wooden structure, sometimes a large barrel, which was lashed to the fore or mainmast. Entry to the crow's nest was through a trap door in the bottom.
Protected overhead by a canvas awning and relatively well sheltered by the barrel's sides, the mariner could survey the surrounding sea-ice with his telescope.
 
 
 
Bransfield Edward
 

Edward Bransfield (c. 1785 – 31 October 1852) was an officer of the Royal Navy, serving as a master on several ships, and who explored parts of Antarctica.

 
Early life
Edward Bransfield was born in Ballinacurra, County Cork, Ireland, in c.1785. While little is known of Edward's family or early life, the Bransfields were thought to have been a well-known and respected Catholic family. The Bransfields may have had enough money to pay for Edward's education, but because of the Penal Laws it is more likely that he attended a local hedge school. On 2 June 1803, Bransfield, then just eighteen years old, was taken from his father's fishing boat and impressed into the Royal Navy.

He began as an ordinary seaman on the 110-gun first rate ship of the line HMS Ville de Paris, where he shared living quarters with William Edward Parry, then a twelve-year-old midshipman, who would also go on to make a name for himself in Polar exploration. Bransfield was rated as an able seaman in 1805 and was appointed to the 110-gun first rate HMS Royal Sovereign (which had taken part in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805) in 1806 as an able seaman, then 2nd master's mate in 1808, midshipman in 1808, clerk in 1809 and midshipman again in 1811. By 1812 he had achieved the rank of second master, and in the same year he was made acting master on HMS Goldfinch, a 10-gun Cherokee-class brig-sloop.

Between the years 1814 and 1816 he served briefly, as master on many fifth rate ships and, on 21 February 1816, was appointed master of the 50-gun fourth rate HMS Severn, where he participated in the Bombardment of Algiers.

During September 1817, he was appointed master of HMS Andromache under the command of Captain W H Shirreff. It was during this tour of duty that he was posted to the Royal Navy's new Pacific Squadron off Valparaíso in Chile.

 
 
Antarctica
During 1773 James Cook sailed beyond the Antarctic Circle—noting with pride in his journal that he was "undoubtedly the first that ever crossed that line.". The next year, he circumnavigated Antarctica completely and reached a latitude of 71° 10', before being driven back by the ice. It was the furthest south anyone had ever gone.

Although he failed to see Antarctica, Cook dispelled once and for all the fanciful notion of a fertile, populous continent surrounding the pole. Not surprisingly, the British Admiralty lost interest in the Antarctic and turned its attention instead to the ongoing search for the Northwest Passage. Almost half a century passed before anyone else travelled as far south as Cook.

Then during 1819 while rounding Cape Horn, William Smith, the owner and skipper of an English merchant ship, the Williams, was driven south by adverse winds and discovered what came to be known as the South Shetland Islands. When news of his discovery reached Valparaíso, Captain Shirreff decided that the matter warranted further investigation. The Williams was chartered and Shirreff appointed Bransfield, two midshipmen and the surgeon from the ship HMS Slaney, who were dispatched to survey the newly discovered islands. Smith remained aboard, acting as Bransfield's pilot.

After a brief and uneventful voyage into the Southern Ocean, Bransfield and Smith reached the South Shetland Islands. Bransfield landed on King George Island and took formal possession on behalf of King George III (who had died the day before on 29 January 1820), before proceeding in a south-westerly direction past Deception Island not investigating or charting it. Turning south, he crossed what is now known as the Bransfield Strait (named for him by James Weddell in 1822), and on 30 January 1820 sighted Trinity Peninsula, the northernmost point of the Antarctic mainland.

  "Such was the discovery of Antarctica," writes the English writer Roland Huntford.

Unknown to Bransfield, two days earlier, 28 January 1820, the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen may have caught sight of an icy shoreline now known to have been part of East Antarctica.

On the basis of this sighting and the co-ordinates given in his log-book, Bellingshausen has been credited by some (e.g., the British polar historian A. G. E. Jones) with the discovery of the continent.

Bransfield made a note in his log of two "high mountains, covered with snow", one of which was subsequently named Mount Bransfield, by Dumont D'Urville, in his honour.

Having charted a segment of the Trinity Peninsula, Bransfield then followed the edge of the icesheet in a north-easterly direction and discovered various points on Elephant Island and Clarence Island, which he also formally claimed for the British Crown. He did not sail around Elephant Island and did not name it (it is named for elephant seals), although he charted Clarence Island completely.

When Bransfield arrived finally back in Valparaíso he gave his charts and journal to Captain Shirreff who delivered them to the Admiralty. The original charts are still in the possession of the Hydrographic department in Taunton, Somerset, but Bransfield's journal has been lost.

The Admiralty, it seems, was still more interested in the search for the Northwest Passage. However, two private accounts of Bransfield's historic voyage were published during 1821.

During recent years the journal of one of the midshipmen, Charles Poynter, was discovered in New Zealand and an account has been published by the Hakluyt Society, edited by Richard Campbell, RN.

 
 
Later life
The remainder of Edward Bransfield's life was obscure. He died on 31 October 1852 in his sixty-seventh year and was buried in Brighton, England. His wife survived him and was buried in the same grave during 1863.

Bransfield Island, Bransfield Strait, Bransfield Trough, Bransfield Rocks and Mount Bransfield were all named in his honour.

During 2000 the Royal Mail issued a commemorative stamp in his honour, but as no likeness of the discoverer of Antarctica could be found, the stamp depicted instead RRS Bransfield, an Antarctic surveying vessel named after him. In 1999 Edward Bransfield's grave, discovered in a deteriorated state in a Brighton churchyard, was renovated (funded by charitable donations) by Sheila Bransfield, who aspires to be Edward Bransfield's official biographer. The event was marked by a ceremony attended by numerous dignitaries.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
Weddell James
 

James Weddell (August 24, 1787 in Ostend – September 9, 1834) was a British sailor, navigator and seal hunter who in February of 1823 sailed to latitude of 74°15' S (a record 7.69 degrees or 532 statute miles south of the Antarctic Circle) and into a region of the Southern Ocean that later became known as the Weddell Sea.

 
Early life
He entered the merchant service very early in his life and was apparently bound to the master of a Newcastle collier (a coal transport vessel) for some years. About 1805 he shipped on board a merchantman trading to the West Indies, making several voyages there.

He was aboard the Hope when in 1813 in the English Channel she captured the True Blooded Yankee, an American privateer. With the end of the Napoleonic War he was laid off on half pay in February 1816, and for a while resumed merchant voyages to the West Indies. In 1820 he volunteered for service in the Royal Navy and subsequently served on several ships.

 
 

James Weddell
  Voyages to the Antarctic
In 1819 Weddell was introduced to James Strachan, a shipbuilder of Leith, who together with James Mitchell, a London insurance broker, owned the 160-ton brig Jane, an American-built ship taken during the war of 1812 and re-fitted for sealing. News of the discovery of the South Shetland Islands had just broken, and Weddell suggested that fortunes might be made in the new sealing grounds.

His first voyage as the captain of the Jane took him to the Falkland Islands and further south. He returned with the holds full, and the voyage was so profitable, that Strachan and Mitchell had a second ship, the Beaufoy, built.

The next voyage from 1821 and 1822 took both ships to the South Shetland Islands. However, there were some 45 sealers operating in the area and seal were already becoming rare (a mere two years after the discovery of the islands), and so he scouted for new hunting grounds. Michael McCleod, the captain of the Beaufoy, sighted the South Orkney Islands on November 22, 1821, an independent discovery from that of Powell just a few days earlier. There, they hunted for seals, and arrived back in England in July.

On the third voyage from 1822 to 1824, Weddell again commanded the Jane, while the captain of the Beaufoy was one Matthew Brisbane. Together they sailed to the South Orkneys again.

 
 
Sealing proved disappointing, though, and after searching for land between the South Shetlands and the South Orkneys (and not finding any), they turned south in the hope to better sealing ground there. The season was unusually mild and tranquil, and on February 20, 1823 the two ships had reached latitude 74°15' S and longitude 34°16'45" W (-74.25, -34.279): the southernmost position any ship had ever reached up to that time. A few icebergs were sighted but there was still no sight of land, leading Weddell to theorize that the sea continued as far as the South Pole.
 
 
Another two days' sailing would have brought him to Coat's Land (to the east of the Weddell Sea) but Weddell decided to turn back.
After deciding to go back, Weddell cheered the crew with the announcement of being southward of any former navigator and a little ceremony; the colors were hoisted, a gun was fired, both crews gave three cheers, and an allowance of grog dispelled the gloom. A hope was infused that fortune might yet favor the crew of sealers. The area was named The Sea of George the Fourth but the naming did not become permanent. The region would not be visited again until 1911, when Wilhelm Filchner discovered the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.

Weddell returned north and sheltered at South Georgia, where he and his crews searched for the elusive seal. They wintered at the Falklands and sailed again for the South Shetlands in November 1823. At the beginning of 1824, the two ships separated. Weddell returned in March 1824 to the Falklands and headed back to England, where he arrived in July.

The Weddell seal was discovered and named in the 1820s during expeditions led by James Weddell.

  His record for a southerly voyage, three degrees beyond that of James Cook, caused some raised eyebrows. Weddell was persuaded by Strachan and Mitchell to incorporate everything in a book. The first edition appeared in 1825, followed by second enlarged edition in 1827, incorporating some information from the Beaufoy which had returned to England in 1826.

Weddell appears to have been resident in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the summer of 1826, when he was cited for non-payment of a debt of £245, loaned to him by the Commercial Bank. Papers now in the National Archives of Scotland show that he and his sponsors appear to have fallen out over liability for payment, and is probably more than coincidence that the navigational instruments taken by Weddell on board, cost, according to his book, £240. The Leith merchants engaging him may have felt that these were unnecessary for a sealing expedition, yet Weddell has been criticised by such historians as David Walton for failing to take more instruments, not fewer.
The legal papers fail to indicate what happened to the debt, and Weddell seems to have fled south—failing even to collect Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from Sir Walter Scott.

 
 
Later life
Weddell offered his services to the Admiralty with a proposal for a return voyage to the high southern latitudes, but was turned down. Instead, he returned to trading along the warmer Atlantic coasts. In 1829 he was still master of the Jane, but on a passage from Buenos Aires to Gibraltar the Jane leaked so badly that she had to be given up at the Azores. Weddell and his cargo were transferred to another ship for the passage to England, but this ran aground on the island of Pico, and Weddell only barely survived.

The loss of the Jane meant financial ruin for Weddell, who was forced to take paid employment as a ship's master. In September 1830 he left England as master of the Eliza, bound for the Swan River Colony in western Australia. From there he proceeded to Tasmania. He sailed back to England in 1832.

Weddell died in 1834 at the age of forty-seven in relative poverty and obscurity in London.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
Bellingshausen Thaddeus
 
Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (20 September [O.S. 9 September] 1778 – 25 January [O.S. 13 January] 1852; Russian: Фаддей Фаддеевич Беллинсгаузен, Faddey Faddeyevich Bellinsgauzen) was a Baltic German officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, cartographer and explorer, who ultimately rose to the rank of Admiral. He was a notable participant of the first Russian circumnavigation and subsequently a leader of another circumnavigation expedition, which discovered the continent of Antarctica.
 

Admiral Faddey Faddeyevich Bellingshausen. Lithograph by U. Schzeibach, circa 1835.
  Bellingshausen started his service in the Baltic Fleet, and after distinguishing himself, he joined the First Russian circumnavigation in 1803-1806, where he served on frigate Nadezhda under the captaincy of Adam Johann von Krusenstern. After the journey he published a collection of maps of the newly explored areas and islands of the Pacific Ocean. Subsequently he commanded several ships of the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets.

As a prominent cartographer, Bellingshausen was appointed to command the circumnavigation of the globe in 1819-1821, intended to explore the Southern Ocean and to find land in the proximity of the South Pole.

The expedition was prepared by Mikhail Lazarev, who was made Bellingshausen's second-in-command and the captain of sloop Mirny, while Bellingshausen himself commanded sloop Vostok. During this expedition Bellingshausen and Lazarev became the first explorers to see the land of Antarctica on 28 January 1820 (New Style). They managed to twice circumnavigate the continent and never lost each other from view. Thus they disproved Captain Cook's assertion that it was impossible to find land in the southern ice fields.

The expedition discovered and named Peter I Island, Zavodovski, Leskov and Visokoi Islands, Antarctic Peninsula and Alexander Island (Alexander Coast), and made some discoveries in the tropical waters of the Pacific.

 
 
Made Counter-Admiral on his return, Bellingshausen participated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829. Promoted to Vice-Admiral, he again served in the Baltic Fleet in 1830s, and from 1839 he was the military governor of Kronstadt, where he died. In 1831 he published the book on his Antarctic travel, called Double Investigation of the Southern Polar Ocean and the Voyage Around the World (Двукратные изыскания в южнополярном океане и плавание вокруг света). He is remembered in Russia as one if its greatest admirals and explorers, and multiple geographical features and locations in the Antarctic, named in honor of Bellingshausen, remind of his role in exploration of the southern polar region.
 
 
Early life and career
Bellingshausen was born to a Baltic German family in the Lahhentagge manor, Saaremaa, Governorate of Livonia, now in Salme Parish, Saare County, Estonia — then part of the Russian Empire. He enlisted as a cadet in the Imperial Russian Navy at the age of ten. After graduating from the Kronstadt naval academy at age eighteen, Bellingshausen rapidly rose to the rank of captain.

First Russian circumnavigation
A great admirer of Cook's voyages, Bellingshausen served from 1803 in the first Russian circumnavigation of the Earth. The vessel Nadezhda ("Hope"), where he was one of the officers, was commanded by Adam Johann von Krusenstern.

The mission was completed in 1806. After the journey Bellingshausen published a collection of maps of the newly explored areas and islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Service as Captain
Bellingshausen's career continued with the command of various ships in the Baltic and Black Seas. From 1812 to 1816 he commanded frigate Minerva and from 1817 to 1819 frigate Flora, both in the Black Sea Fleet.

 
 
First Russian Antarctic expedition
When Emperor Alexander I authorized an expedition to the south polar region in 1819, the authorities selected Bellingshausen to lead it as an experienced captain and explorer, and a prominent cartographer. The expedition was intended to explore the Southern Ocean and to find land in the proximity of the South Pole. The preparation work on the two ships, the 985-ton sloop-of-war Vostok ("East") and the 530-ton support vessel Mirny ("Peaceful") was carried out by Mikhail Lazarev, who had captained his own circumnavigation of the globe before. Bellingshausen became the captain of Vostok, and Lazarev captained Mirny. The journey started from Kronshtadt on 4 June 1819.

Leaving Portsmouth on 5 September 1819 the expedition crossed the Antarctic Circle (the first to do so since Cook) on 26 January 1820.

 
Nadezhda, where Bellingshausen served under captain Krusenstern during the first Russian circumnavigation.
 
 
On 28 January 1820 (New Style) the expedition discovered the Antarctic mainland approaching the Antarctic coast at a point with coordinates 69º21'28"S 2º14'50"W and seeing ice-fields there. The point in question lies within twenty miles of the Antarctic mainland. Bellingshausen's diary, his report to the Russian Naval Minister on 21 July 1821 and other documents, available in the Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in Saint Petersburg, Russia, were carefully compared with the log-books of other claimants by the British polar historian A. G. E. Jones in his 1982 study Antarctica Observed. Jones concluded that Bellingshausen, rather than the Royal Navy's Edward Bransfield on 30 January 1820 or the American Nathaniel Palmer on 17 November 1820, was indeed the discoverer of the sought-after Terra Australis.

During the voyage Bellingshausen also visited Ship Cove in New Zealand, the South Shetland Islands, and discovered and named Peter I, Zavodovski, Leskov and Visokoi Islands, and a peninsula of the Antarctic mainland which he named the Alexander Coast but which has more recently borne the designation of Alexander Island.

 
 

Captain Faddey Bellingshausen with the Cross of the Order of St. Vladimir
  Bellingshausen and Lazarev managed to twice circumnavigate the continent and never lost each other from view. Thus they disproved Captain Cook's assertion that it was impossible to find land in the southern ice fields. The expedition also made discoveries and observations in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Admiral

Returning to Kronshtadt on 4 August 1821, Bellingshausen was made Counter Admiral. He fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829 and attained the rank of Vice Admiral in 1830.

In 1831 he published the book on his Antarctic travel, called Double Investigation of the Southern Polar Ocean and the Voyage Around the World (Двукратные изыскания в южнополярном океане и плавание вокруг света).

Military governor of Kronshtadt
He became the military governor of Kronstadt (from 1839) and died there in 1852.

Legacy

Faddey Faddeyevich Bellinsgauzen is remembered in Russia as one if its greatest admirals and explorers. In the Antarctic, multiple geographical features and locations, named in honor of Bellingshausen, remind of his role in exploration of the southern polar region.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London
 

The Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping arcade in London that runs behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th-century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping centre. The Burlington Arcade was built "for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public".

 
The arcade was built to the order of Lord George Cavendish, younger brother of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, who had inherited the adjacent Burlington House, on what had been the side garden of the house and was reputedly to prevent passers-by throwing oyster shells and other rubbish over the wall of his home. His architect was Samuel Ware. The Arcade opened in 1819. It consisted of a single straight top-lit walkway lined with seventy-two small two storey units. Some of the units have now been combined, reducing the number of shops to around forty. The ponderous Piccadilly façade in a late version of Victorian Mannerism was added in the early 20th century.

The pedestrian arcade, with smart uniform shop fronts under a glazed roof, has always been an upmarket retail location.
 
The Piccadilly entrance to the Burlington Arcade in 1827-28
 
 
It is patrolled by Burlington Arcade Beadles in traditional uniforms including top hats and frockcoats. The original beadles were all former members of Lord George Cavendish's regiment, the 10th Hussars. Present tenants include a range of clothing, footwear and accessory shops, art and antique dealers and the jewellers and dealers in antique silver for which the Arcade is best known.
 
 

North entrance to the Burlington Arcade, with Beadle in attendance.
 
 
The Burlington Arcade was the successful prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels and The Passage in St Petersburg, the first of Europe's grand arcades, to the Galleria Umberto I in Naples or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

The sedate atmosphere of the Burlington Arcade was interrupted in 1964 when a Jaguar Mark X charged down the arcade, scattering pedestrians, and six masked men leapt out, smashed the windows of the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Association shop and stole jewellery valued at £35,000. They were never caught.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1819
 
 
Freedom of the press in France
 
 

 

1819
 
 
Maximum 12-hour working day for juveniles in England
 
 
 

 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1819 Part II NEXT-1820-1829