Interestingly a second version of the composition is known, drawn solely in pen and brown ink and today housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon.1 Indeed it was this version that was published by Germain Bazin, who appears to have been unaware of the existence of the present sheet, at the time. The vigorous black chalk underdrawing, so evident in our drawing, makes a compelling case for Gericault's authorship, as well as a strong argument for its being his original concept of the composition. By contrast the arguably more laboured penmanship in the Besançon sheet, suggests that that drawing was created at a later date, possibly as a ricordo by the artist.
1. G. Bazin, Théodore Géricault: étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné, vol. IV, Paris 1990, pp. 19 and 132, no. 1187, reproduced.
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