Théodore Géricault’s Portrait of a Woman Suffering from Obsessive Envy is an oil on canvas painting created around 1822 as part of the Monomaniacs series. The series comprises portraits of mentally ill patients at the Salpêtrière psychiatric ward. This specific portrait is housed in the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, France. Géricault’s curiosity in psychiatry was due to his family’s personal experience with mental illness.
The painting portrays a woman as gloomy and envious with a hunched posture and bloodshot eyes. It is noteworthy to mention that the woman’s depiction is not a realistic portrayal of her appearance but a reflection of her mental state, thus rendering it an example of a psychological portrait. The painting’s title, The Hyena of the Salpêtrière, is indicative of the woman’s malicious tendencies.
The Monomaniacs series had five portraits, but only five remain, and Portrait of a Woman Suffering from Obsessive Envy is one of them. Géricault utilized a thick brushstroke technique, emphasizing the woman’s emotional instability and inner turmoil.