|The Raft of the Medusa Théodore Géricault 1818-19|
However, this picture depicts an event that happened just two years before it was painted. The Medusa was a French vessel that sank just off the coast of what is now Mauritania creating a public scandal because it's captain was incompetent and the whole event reflected badly on the newly re-installed monarchy.
We see the vessel after 13 days at sea. Only 15 of the 147 persons on the raft have survived. They have evaded death by starvation, madness, dehydration and cannibalism!
The survivors have just sighted the vessel that will rescue them. Meanwhile, in the foreground, people are dying.
Gericault (pronounced Zherico) acheived the fame that he craved because of this picture but, sadly, he died at the age of 32.