Portrait of a Kleptomaniac Theodore Gericault Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Portrait of a Kleptomaniac continued Theodore Gericault's series of paintings which captured the mentally ill.

At this stage many would simply be dismissed as insane or mad, rather than being more specific about their particular mental health issue. There were ten portrait paintings in total, as part of a commissioned series for the psychiatrist Étienne-Jean Georget. This particular contribution was completed in 1822 and can now be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.

This series featured models from the same institution, namely the Salpêtrière asylum in Paris. Such establishments were particularly harrowing places to visit during the 19th century, where modern compassion and care was not always afforded to such individuals. Interestingly, these came towards the end of Gericault's career and so represent much of the development which he had made over the decades as an artist.