The Raft of the Medusa (Le Radeau de la Méduse) oil painting of 1818–1819 by the French Romantic painter Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania on July 5, 1816. At least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation, dehydration and cannibalism. The event became an international scandal, in part because its cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the French captain.