Someone has suggested Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa (1818-19) for a flash mob. It’s a great painting with lots of drama, politics, suffering, a happy ending for some, and a cliff-hanger. And it’s a BIG painting:  16″ 1″ x 23′ 6″.

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I generally don’t send students to Wikipedia, but this link is an excellent short account of the work.


Here’s another great work of art flash mob:



13 thoughts on “Discussion

  1. Kiele Marston

    I’d love to see if anyone else has different ideas on what we could do, but I personally love the Raft of the Medusa. It carries a powerful story with it based on a tragic event in history that actually occurred. The captain saved himself and a few other wealthy individuals on a lifeboat and crammed around a hundred and fifty people onto a raft to fend for themselves. They faced starvation and dehydration, resorted to cannibalism, and only a handful survived to tell the tale. I really hope we could possibly do something based on this!

  2. Nigi Roberts

    My first thoughts upon seeing this art piece was how impressive it was, the amount of detail and lighting is really quite beautiful. I can definitely see why someone would considered this piece for a flashmob. Visually the artwork is beautiful, however the narrative is very sad and complex. I always thought the purpose of flashmob’s was to uplift people’s spirits. But with that being said, I could definitely see this being an educational piece while still making it look visually appealing to the audience. I also think a bit of comedy can lessen the gloom and doom of the subject. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Christian Hughes

    Obviously it is a little late in the year, but we still have the ability to make this happen. I looked up and read a few articles about the work and the story which it is based on. While I don’t recommend that we resort to eating each other, it would be fun to recreate a moment of history.

  4. Allison Skowronski

    I think a flash mob in the middle of Ball Circle would be a great way to get more students interested in learning about Art History! Although the subject of this painting is a little sadder than the usual subjects of flash mobs, I believe a group of students acting out a raft scene would entice other students to sign up for an art history class.

  5. RyanV.

    While looking at this painting, you can see the sheer madness of this piece. Bodies on the ground, some appear to be dead. While one person seems to be coming out on top,while beating his adversaries. Was this a flash mob or a battle. Both involve violence , but they seem to be on a raft or boat in the sea. No weapons appear from what I can see, so what happened?

  6. Emily Siegfried

    When I took AP Art History in high school, our teacher let us get into groups and recreate certain works of art with our bodies. It resulted in a lot of funny pictures of my classmates and I, but it really proved that some of the positions figures are shown in in works are impossible to achieve in real life! That being said, I think The Raft of the Medusa would be a really awesome piece to recreate with a bunch of students, and would allow some hands on reflection too!

  7. Allyson Kraft

    This happened to be a favorite work of art of my previous art history professor. I do think that this piece of art is rather gloomy, but it is raw and tells a truly saddening story. I agree that having students act this out would definitely spark conversation about art history here at UMW! I also think it may bring about conversation about the extent of art in general, a flash mob, in its own way, is art. Art comes in many forms and having this be one of them would be super fascinating.

  8. MiKayla Streat

    This is a powerful piece. The art is similar to Leonardo Da Vinci color scheme and Michelangelo’s positioning and balance. It dramatic and makes a statement, I really adore this piece.

  9. Christopher Hall

    The artwork by Géricaul is a very iconic piece for the time of the romanticism era. The piece expresses exactly what romanticism speaks for with expression , movement , and being able to tell a narrative in the artwork . With the use of movement , light , and color used in the work . It gives and emphasize on the narrative with the affect of the hurricane that is happening within the scene .

  10. Olayemi Fadahunsi

    I really enjoyed reading the back story to this, it really made me appreciate my choice in taking this class. I get to learn more about how to truly analyze and understand art. The Painting show all people with pale white skin, however at the top there is a person of color on top. I truly feel like it represents the art of story telling, like most art, but the imagery and the possibility for imagination is incredible. When I look at this piece, I can see the movement and the possibility for a better future for the people on the ship wreck. The light on the Left side of the painting, the direction in which the wind is blowing the sail shows that they are going towards the light. However when one reads the background story about the painting, I see that it wasn’t as hopeful as the painting shows.

  11. Michaela Smith

    This is very sad news, so much history and information have been ruined and lost because of this fire. All of those paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and pictures are gone now. All of that information, that was so unique, has just vanished. I feel so bad for the people that worked in the museum because they must have had a huge love for art and history. People having to see something that they work on every day to protect and it is something they love, just vanish? I could not imagine. I feel very bad for Brazil because that museum showed how they started everything and it was something they could look back on. All of that history and all of that effort that historians had to go through, just to find the art and history, was just thrown and burned away. Very very sad and unfortunate.

  12. Anthony Tiberia

    This artist was truly dedicated to giving it very realistic rendering of the events that took place on that raft. He went to great lengths to accurately depict the bodies of the people who were stranded upon that raft. He examined the few survivors and gathered their descriptions of the raft. In addition, he examined the remains of the victims. He added hints in the painting to suggest ideas, such as a man’s wrapped arm to hint towards the cannibalism that took place upon that raft.

  13. Nathaniel Holic

    This piece blew me away. From the title to the detail of the work I am truly impressed. The artist really shows the pain that the people on the raft have gone through. This work shows a story, but also keeps you guessing as to what could have led to this event and what will happen after.


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