Tag Archives: tuberculosis

Consumption

2 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below (courtesy of and copyright by E.A. Wicklund). Thanks as ever to Captain Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping us off the Arguin Bank. Other stories from the prompt can be found here on the off chance you’ve got broadband on your life raft.

I had the good fortune to come face to face with Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa in the Louvre and stood mesmerized in front of it for twenty minutes. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend you linger there for a while. You will not be unmoved.

 

The Raft of the Medusa

“Théodore, you must leave this place. The stench alone is enough to kill a man.”

Eugène Delacroix held a perfumed handkerchief to his nose to ward off the fetid odor of decaying body parts stolen from the Beaujon Hospital across the street. On a stand nearby a decapitated head looked on impassively.

“I can no more leave than they could.” Géricault motioned to the figures on the huge canvas that dominated the cavernous studio. “It consumes me, Eugène.”

“Certainement, dear friend. Cease this madness.”

Géricault pointed with his brush to the empty horizon on his painting. “When the Argus comes.”

 

Gericault's death mask

Theodore Géricault’s death mask