Théodore Géricault, a young romantic painter, fascinated by horses, meets the famous trainer, Franconi, director of the Olympic Circus. He installs himself in the Circus and shares their life. With Franconi, Géricault learns to free himself from convention and to consider the horse as almost the only subject for his paintings. The seductive approaches of a young woman rider are not enough to distract Géricault from his fierce determination to fathom the mystery of horses and the challenge to paint them. Franconi asks Géricault : "Do you want to know the secret of galloping ? If the painter had been able to reproduce in his paintings the real movements of galloping horses, he would have had almost a century's lead over his contempories ; he would have taken a prodigious leap forward to the discovery of photography... But while the Géricault of "Mazeppa" is searching for movement, Franconi, like Don Quichotte, is fighting against the progress and speed represented by the first telegraphic semaphores, the forerunners of the telephone and television. For the trainer, these semaphores would be the end of horsemanship...
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