Le radeau de la Méduse parallels the wrecked boats of the African immigrants on the Italian Lampedusa island and the abandoned cars of asylum seekers that have travelled from Russia to Salla, Finnish Lapland with Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819), located in Louvre. Based on true events, the subject of the painting is the 1816 shipwreck of Méduse, a frigate with administrative personnel on their way from France to African colonies. The passengers of the ship rescued on a raft they built and left drifting on the open sea with fatal consequences. Over the years, the painting has become a universal symbol for both despair and hope.
The Raft of the Medusa