Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

A leading French neoclassical painter who chronicled the French Revolution on canvas. He also served in the National Assembly, because a virtual dictator of the arts of in the new republic, and was a personal friend of Robespierre (but David lived to tell about it). Here are three of his paintings. The first is The Oath of the Tennis Court (1791) depicts an early event of the Revolution in 1789, when all but one member of the Third Estate of the National Assembly signed an oath to continue meeting until a constitution was completed. The second is the Death of Marat (1793), the radical journalist who was among the leaders of the revolution, assassinated in his bath by another revolutionary, Charlotte Corday, who thought Marat was precipitating a civil war and wanted to prevent it. The third canvas is simply a self-portrait David painted in 1784.

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