For centuries, the subject of mental retardation has attracted many artists. The canvas, depicting a crazy woman, was written by Theodore Gericault in 1822. Born by the premonition of his imminent demise, Géricault embodies his experiences on this canvas.
Severe mental illness or loss of reason for a person is like death, in the spiritual sense. The painting depicts a woman who has long grasped this inheritance. Her thoughts are hovering in distant lands, unknown to a healthy person. Her mind no longer perceives the line between reality and illusion.
The appearance of a woman reminds the viewer of her illness. Hospital clothing shows that the heroine is in a closed institution for the insane. Strands of gray hair are knocked out from under the white cap, the face is lined with deep lines of wrinkles. The skin, with a tinge of unhealthy yellowness, covers its delineated cheekbones and high forehead. The sight of the patient is deprived of expression and life, although slightly swollen eyes shine feverishly. You can see a smile on her lips. Perhaps now unhealthy mind plays with her evil games.
Previously, Theodore Gericault created paintings in a romantic style, but what prompted him to create paintings of this type? In the image of an unhappy crazy woman, he put his own fear of loss of mind. This explains his feeling of compassion for the heroine, for her rebellious restless state of mind, and Jericho’s desire to convey to the viewer a thin line that separates a healthy person from a mental patient.
At the request of his friend, the doctor of the psychological clinic, Gericault created a number of portraits of crazy people. The main idea of these paintings was not the expression of external manifestations of progressive mental illnesses, but the inner experiences of sick people.