A number of painters in the Romantic period, and some before it, believed imagery
should present situations, states of suffering, and outrage in forms that were
extreme and compelling in themselves. These images, they thought, would stimulate
the sympathy and satisfaction that were regarded as salutary and sublime - indeed
they envisaged a situation in which agony as such would create a demand for
experience that would in other contexts be intolerable. Among these uncommon
spirits the painter Géricault was quite exceptional. He generated images
of physical grandeur, brushing light into dark with an impulsive bluntness,
which was a direct manifestation of natural force. He portrayed, for example,
triumphant heroism, valiant defeat, splendid savagery, and animal magnificence,
all of them with irresistible nobility and pathos.
In the last years of Napoleon's rule Géricault painted the military
myth on a grand scale and interested David. With the Restoration, he was painting
subjects of barbaric violence and accumulating studies of injuries and executions
when history provided him with the shipwreck of an ill fated expedition and
the desperate suffering of the survivors. Within a year he had painted The Raft
of the Medusa, a picture of pathos and protest outstanding in the history of
art. It equipped romantic realism with a terrific commitment to humanity and
an equally terrific style, in which the ruthlessness of the square brushed modeling
and the livid light were unforgettably compelling. Five years later, after extending
his repertory of extreme situations to the pathos of the insane, he died in
a fall from a horse. Once he was dead, the regime which his great picture had
arraigned found no difficulty in buying it. The most sincere protests have a
way of turning into sensational aesthetic entertainments. It is apparently the
nobility and insight in themselves that fulfill the deeper needs. The loss of
Géricault depleted the French reserves of seriousness through the half
century to come, sadly but not fatally.
Ravensburger HistoryRavensburger Spieleverlag GmbH is a German game company and market leader in the European jigsaw puzzle market.
The company was founded by Otto Robert Maier with seat in Ravensburg, a town in Upper Swabia in southern Germany. He began publishing in 1883 with his first author contract. He started publishing instruction folders for craftsmen and architects, which soon acquired him a solid financial basis. His first board game appeared in 1884, named "Journey around the world".
At the turn of the 20th century, his product line broadened to include picture books, books, children’s activity books, Art Instruction manuals, non-fiction books, and reference books as well as children’s games, Happy Families and activity kits. In 1900, the Ravensburger blue triangle trademark was registered with the Imperial Patent office. As of 1912, many board and activity games had an export version that was distributed to Western Europe, the countries of the Danube Monarchy as well as Russia.
Before the First World War, Ravensburger had around 800 products. The publishing house was damaged during the Second World War and continued to produce games in the years of the reconstruction. The company focused on children's games and books and specialized books for art, architecture and hobbies, and from 1962 grew strongly. The company started to produce jigsaw puzzle games in 1964, and in the same year opened subsidiaries in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 1977 the company split into a book publishing arm and a game publishing arm.
Today there are approximately 1,800 available books and 850 games as well as puzzles, hobby products and CD-ROM titles at Ravensburger and its subsidiaries, which include Alea for "hobby and ardent game players" and FX Schmid for games and children's books. Ravensburger products are exported to more than fifty countries.
In September 2010, Ravensburger broke Educa's record for the world's largest jigsaw puzzle of 24,000 pieces. Ravensburger's new puzzle design by late pop artist Keith Haring titled, 'Keith Haring: Double Retrospect' breaks the Guinness Book of World Records measuring 17' × 6' built from 32,256 pieces and comes with its own dolly cart for toting.