ART 4 2-DAY 30 August
Born on 30 August 1852: Julian Alden
Weir, US painter who died on 08
December 1919. He studied under Jean-Léon
Gérôme. Weir's students included Philip
Leslie Hale. [Was Weir weird?]
Died on 30 August 1908: Giovanni Fattori,
Italian painter born on 25 October 1825.
Nella fama che da morto lo avvolge e già lo solleva alla gloria, sembra che della vita di lui non si sappia altro che la sua onorata povertà. […] Ma di quanto nella biografia di questo artista può aiutarci a spiegare l’arte sua e le successive maniere, pochi si occupano. Sono stati, fra gli altri, dimenticati due fatti capitali. Il primo è che Giovanni Fattori non ha mai creduto d’essere un puro paesista, un pittore cioè di vuoti paesaggi, ma sì un pittore di figura il quale adoperava i mille studi e studietti di paese, adesso fortuna dei mercanti e invidia dei raccoglitori, soltanto per comporre gli sfondi convenienti ai suoi quadri di butteri, di bifolchi, di boscaiole, di buoi, di puledri, di soldati, d’accampamenti, di manovre, di battaglie. Il secondo fatto è che Giovanni Fattori fino ai trentacinque o trentasei anni ha dipinto poco e fiacco, e i più dei quadri, quadretti, bozzetti e appunti che oggi si espongono, si lodano, si comprano e si ricomprano, sono tutti dipinti verso i quarant’anni e dopo, dal 1861 o ’65. Il caso è più unico che raro nella storia dell’arte, ma ci aiuta a capire quel che di meditato, riposato e maturo è nelle sue opere migliori, anche nelle più antiche, ingenuamente credute giovanili e primaverili.
Maria Stuarda a Crookstone Soldati francesi del '59 Ritratto della cugina Argia Carica di cavalleria a Montebello Le macchiaiole Silvestro Lega che dipinge sugli scogli Diego Martelli a Castiglioncello In vedetta Barrocci romani L'aratura Ritratto della figliastra Giornata grigia [in English: Grade~A?]
Born on 30 (03?) August 1883: Christiaan
Emil Maria Küpper Theo Van Doesburg,
Dutch Neoplasticist painter, decorator, poet, and art theorist, a leader
of the de Stijl movement, who died on 07 March 1931.
In 1883 werd op 3 augustus Christian Emil Maria Küpper in Utrecht geboren. Kort na zijn geboorte verliet vader Wilhelm Küpper het gezin en vertrok naar zijn geboortestad Keulen, waar hij in 1893 overleed. Christiaan groeide op bij zijn moeder en pleegvader. Theodorus Doesburg was al jaren een vriend van de familie en vermoedelijk ook de natuurlijke vader van Cristian Emil Maria. Waarschijnlijk om deze reden wijzigde Christian op latere leeftijd zijn naam met als toevoeging het woordje "Van" als mogelijke verwijzing naar zijn afkomst. Luisterend naar de naam Theo van Doesburg bezocht hij na het lager en voortgezet onderwijs voor een korte tijd de toneelschool. Toen hij daarna de ambitie koesterde om schilder en schrijver te worden, waren zijn ouders niet erg enthousiast. Dit was voor Theo de aanleiding om op 18-jarige leeftijd het ouderlijk huis te verlaten.
Naast de naam Theo van Doesburg gebruikte hij nog twee pseudoniemen. I.K. Bonset was waarschijnlijk een anagram van de stelling "Ik ben sot", welk pseudoniem hij gebruikte als ondertekening van zijn Dadaïstische gedichten en activiteiten. En het pseudoniem Aldo Camini gebruikte Van Doesburg ter ondertekening van zijn anti-filosofische activiteiten als criticus. Na de mobilisatie verbleef Van Doesburg van februari tot december 1916 bij zijn moeder in Haarlem waarna hij zich in Leiden vestigde.
A Dutch artist and architect. Theo van Doesburg founded De Stijl magazine in 1917. The magazine gave its name to a group of artists and architects which included Mondrian, Huszar and Vantongerloo, Oud and Rietveld. The style was abstract. Forms were generalised from natural shapes and forms. Primary colors were used. Theo van Doesburg influenced the Bauhaus.
Dutch painter, decorator, poet, and art theorist, a leader of the de Stijl movement. He worked in Post~Impressionist and Fauvist styles until 1916. Then he began to paint geometric abstractions of subjects from nature. His advocacy of de Stijl's geometric style influenced the modernist architects Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. From 1921 to 1923 he taught at the Weimar Bauhaus and was influenced by Mondrian's aesthetic of neoplasticism. He exhibited in Holland in 1923 as a Dadaist, under the pseudonym J. K. Bonset. His 1926 De Stijl explains his theory of elementarism, the use of inclined planes in geometric abstract paintings to increase the dynamic effect.
LINKS Composition XI (1918) Composition XXII (1922) Countercomposition (1924) Simultaneous Countercomposition (1929)
Composition in Gray (Rag-time) (1919, 96x59cm)
(Contra-Compositie XIII) (1926, 50x50cm) _ About 1924 Theo van Doesburg rebelled against Piet Mondrian’s programmatic insistence on the restriction of line to vertical and horizontal orientations, and produced his first Counter-Composition. The direction consequently taken by Neo-Plasticism was designated “Elementarism” by van Doesburg, who described its method of construction as “based on the neutralization of positive and negative directions by the diagonal and, as far as color is concerned, by the dissonant. Equilibrated relations are not an ultimate result.”1 Mondrian considered this redefinition of Neo-Plasticism heretical; he was soon to resign from the De Stijl [more] group. This canvas upholds the Neo-Plastic dictum of “peripheric” composition. The focus is decentralized and there are no empty, inactive areas. The geometric planes are emphasized equally, related by contrasts of color, scale, and direction. One’s eyes follow the trajectories of isosceles triangles and stray beyond the canvas to complete mentally the larger triangles sliced off by its edges. The placement of the vertical axis to the left of center and the barely off-square proportions of the support create a sense of shifting balance.
Born on 30 August 1727: Giovanni-Domenico
Tiepolo, Italian Rococo
Era painter who died on 03 March 1804. Son of Giovanni-Battista
Tiepolo [05 Mar 1696 –
27 Mar 1770].
— Giandomenico a été apprécié par ses contemporains surtout pour ses talents d'imitateur zélé de son père, Giambattista Tiepolo. Il vivra longtemps dans son ombre. C'est par ses innombrables dessins qu'il a trouvé son moyen d'expression privilégié, le mieux accordé à sa manière intimiste. Parmi ses thèmes favoris, on retrouve, comme dans l'oeuvre de son père, de nombreux croquis de Pulcinelli et de scènes de la vie vénitienne.
— Painter and etcher, son of Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Worked in Venice, Würzburg, Udina, and Madrid. Master and President of the Venetian Academy in his life time. A talented genre painter, especially of scenes from contemporary life and popular theatre. Notable among early
works are the paintings of the Stations of the Cross for S. Polo, Venice (1747-49), and the chinoiserie decorations of the guest wing of the Villa Valmarana (1757) in Vicenza. Worked in Madrid from 1762 until his father died in 1770. Returned to Venice, executed several frescoes and easel paintings, and especially scenes from the commedia dell'arte. Produced innumerable drawings for collectors, and nearly 200 etchings after his and his father's designs. Brother, Lorenzo Tiepolo (1736-76), specialized in genre scenes in pastel.
— Giovanni Domenico (= Giandomenico) Tiepolo was the son of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the greatest Italian painter of the 18th century. His mother was Cecilia Guardi, the sister of the painter Guardi brothers.
The gifted and clever son of a great artist, Giandomenico Tiepolo spent many years learning by working alongside his father. Giambattista was so convinced of his son's talent that he involved him in the major commissions he undertook at the height of his own powers, and Giandomenico went with him to Würzburg, Vicenza, Stra, and Madrid. It becomes progressively easier to pick out Giandomenico's contributions to the works completed in these years, as during this time he was gradually acquiring his own personal style. This was substantially different (at least in the choice of subject matter) from his father's.
Giandomenico's temperament emerged most effectively in the frescos he painted for the guest lodge at Villa Valmarana near Vicenza (1757). They are imbued with a strong sense of realism, if still elegant and playful. Giandomenico had a marked preference for scenes from contemporary life. He viewed life always from a somewhat ironic perspective (although this was usually quite gentle, he could on occasion become savage). This was true of him both as a painter and as an engraver. At the same time he never broke away fully from his father's style. In particular, Giandomenico worked very closely with his aged father during their stay in Spain (1762-1770). The paintings he and his father produced in Madrid were to be a fundamental influence on Goya at the start of his own career.
After his return to Italy, Giandomenico pursued important decorative programs in Venice, Brescia, and Genoa. His painting gradually became tinged with the feeling that it was the end of an epoch. This translated as a lightness of touch and a latent melancholy in the frescos he painted in his family's own villa. These were painted during the last decade of the eighteenth century. Giandomenico is noteworthy also for his etchings, especially the twenty-two variations on the theme of the Flight into Egypt (1753).
— Self-Portrait (1775, etching 12x9cm) — Portrait of the Artist's Father, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1775, etching 12x10cm)
— Minuet 1756 _ This is an extremely interesting early piece which borrows its compositional layout from scenes painted by his father. The difference is that Giandomenico chose not to paint mythological or allegorical scenes. The minuet is being danced by people wearing traditional masks and having a good time. Its proper classification is therefore a genre painting. It was works like this that made such a deep impression on the young Goya.
— The Swing of Pulcinella (1793, 200x170cm) _ This fresco comes from the Tiepolo villa at Zianigo, between Padua and Venice.
— The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy (1773, 39x67cm) _ The Building of the Trojan Horse (1773, 39x67cm) _ These companion-pieces are part of a series illustrating a famous passage from Virgil's Aeneid (Book 2): The Greeks build a wooden horse, fill it with armed men and leave it outside the enemy city of Troy. The two pictures are close in style to the work of the artist's father Giambattista.
— Peasants at Rest (1757) _ The prevailing style of the first half of the 18th century was set by the enormous success of often flamboyant Venetian painters: Sebastiano Ricci, Piazzetta, and above all, Giambattista Tiepolo. But there were other currents as well. The Lombard painters Ceruti and Ghislandi, the Genoese artist Magnasco, Crespi from Bologna and Traversi from Naples (in addition of course Giandomenico Tiepolo in Venice) all adopted different but equally lively approaches. These artists paid close attention to themes and people taken from everyday life, which later led to the strand of "social" painting of the second half of the nineteenth century. Giandomenico Tiepolo's frescoes in the guest house of Villa Valmarana represent examples of this approach.
— Summer Stroll (1757) _ While Giambattista was busy in the main house painting famous episodes taken from heroic poems, his son Giandomenico decorated the rooms in the guest house with enjoyable if somewhat enigmatic scenes like this. The subject of the seasons, which Giambattista would probably have portrayed in wonderful allegories, provided Giandomenico with the occasion to depict scenes set in the countryside with romantically distant vistas but utterly real people.
— The Flight into Egypt (episode of the falling idols) (1753, etching 17x22cm)
— 55 etchings at FAMSF
Died on 30 August 1928: Franz von Stuck,
painter, sculptor, engraver and architect, born on 23 February 1863. Fame
stuck to von Stuck because of a Sin which followed his Sensuality.
He died on 30 August 1928. [What do they have on Von Stuck stuck?]
From 1878 to 1885 he studied at the School of Plastic Arts in Munich, then at the the Munich Academy. He at first earned his living by illustrating various magazines. In 1892 was one of the founders of the Munich Sezession. His Symbolist period is of this decade. In 1895 he began teaching at the Munich Academy, where his pupils included Kandinsky, Klee and Albers, whose subsequent careers enhanced von Stuck's fame. Designed and built the Villa Stuck. Von Stuck has suffered from unfair comparison with Böcklin and been described as superficial in his Symbolist vein. In fact, his many nudes, with their torrid sensuality and a linear style combining decorative and erotic elements, are direct precursors of Jugendstil. His students included E. Martin Hennings
Sensuality (1891) _ Franz von Stuck achieved the greatest success of his career with the painting Sin which was hailed as a work of genius at the 1893 exhibition of the Munich Secession. Rows of seats had to be placed in front of the painting for the crowds of fascinated viewers. Sin was a variant of the yet more suggestive Sensuality which Stuck had painted four years previously. So great was the demand for these pictures that Stuck painted at least eighteen versions of the subject of a woman entwined with a snake under the titles of Sin, Sensuality and Vice.
The Murderer (1891, 47x46cm) _ Inspired by Böcklin's Murderer pursued by Furies, but with an even greater sense of excitement and drama, in 1891 Stuck painted his first version of the despair and remorse which pursue a criminal after his deed. The ancient Furies, the goddesses of vengeance, hide behind a rock as they lie in wait for the murderer who has just killed his victim. The sight of these ugly creatures is a foretaste of the torments awaiting the murderer. The figure of the murderer is derived from Klinger's etching Pursuit in which a man in a similar pose runs away on a narrow path. _ See also Edvard Munch's The Murderer on the Lane (1919)
Sin (1893, 88x53cm) _ Stuck exhibited Sin at the Secessionist Exhibition in Munich in 1893. It was bought by the Neue Pinakothek musuem. Stuck's Sin brought crowds flocking to the Neue Pinakothek, where it was installed immediately after it had been bought. In Das Jahr der schönen Täuschungen, the doctor and poet Hans Carossa described the deep impression that this famous work made on the viewer: 'The fame of the painting drove us through the galleries; we stopped nowhere and opened our eyes for the first time when we were finally standing opposite it. It was displayed on a special easel in its broad, monumental gold frame, and now all three of us stared at the night of hair and snake which did not allow too much of the pale, female body to be seen. The shadowed face with the bluish-white of the dark eyes was less important to me at first than the iron sheen of the nestling snake, its evil, beautifully designed head and the dull chequered pattern on its back, over which a delicate blue line ran like a seam. There are works of art that strengthen our sense of community, and there are others that seduce us into isolation. Stuck's painting belonged to the latter group.' There are several versions of this painting. The painting shows Eve, no longer hesitating between good and evil, she has chosen evil and has become one with the snake, shown wrapped round her neck.
About a year after Stuck's Sin, Edvard Munch produced Madonna as part of his Frieze of Life. It has the same ambivalent mixing of Christian iconography with sensual content, the same combination of eros and thanatos, love and death, pain and pleasure: 'Your face encompasses the whole of the earth. Your lips, as red as ripening fruit, gently part as if in pain. It is the smile of a corpse. Now the hand of death touches life. The chain is forged that links the thousand families that are dead to the thousand generations to come.' Suck turned Sin into an icon and included it in his artist's altar displayed at the Villa Stuck.
The Kiss of the Sphinx (1895, 160x149cm) _ This painting is grand melodrama painted in a blaze of fiery red. Locked in a passionate kiss, the sphinx presses her lips against the man's like a vampire, as if to suck the life out of him. It was Heinrich Heine's poem in the foreword to his Buch der Lieder of 1839 that inspired Stuck to paint this triumph of woman over man.
'The marble image came alive,
Began to moan and plead -
She drank my burning kisses up
With ravenous thirst and greed.
She drank the breath from out my breast,
She fed lust without pause;
She pressed me tight, and tore and rent
My body with her claws.'
What a psychologically exhausting treatment of the subject this is! There lies the sphinx, this time a bewitchingly beautifuly woman, on a low slab of rock. With her lion's claws she clasps the body of the unfortunate, who has sunk to his knees, while her lips press against his. The classical myth is given depth by investing it with the universality of a modern symbol. We hear the old song about man and woman, about man's powerlessness when faced with a demonic woman, about physical strength against the psychical. As this body of a young man writhes in the claws of the sphinx, impotent, unresisting, as lips press against lips there in passionate desire the moment of greatest pleasure also the moment of death all of this is portrayed with a dramatic force which truly moves one to the depths of one's being and is incomparably poignant. This painting, like Sin, caused a sensation in Munich. Reproductions of it were removed from the windows of art galleries on the orders of the police. The painting is a universal symbol of the passion that leads to downfall.
Franz and Mary Stuck as a God and Goddess (1900) The Kiss of the Sphinx (1895) Boy Bacchus Riding on a Panther (1901) Pietà Fighting Fauns (1889, 85x148cm) Innocence (1889, 68x61cm) The Guardian of Paradise (1889, 250x167cm) Wild Chase (1889, 53x84cm)
Born on 30 August 1748: Jacques~Louis David,
French painter, specialized in Historical
Subjects, who died on 29 December 1825. French Neoclassical
painter who died on 29 December 1825. He studied under Joseph
Marie Vien. David's students included Ingres,
Baptiste Isabey, Louis-Léopold
Robert and Francois
Born to a family of masons and building contractors David studied under Joseph-Marie Vien, to whom he had been recommended by François Boucher, a relative by marriage. After receiving the Prix de Rome in 1774 on his fourth attempt, he spent five years at the French Academy in Italy. Immersion in the art of the ancients and the old masters had a reformative impact on his style, and he abandoned the colorism of his early rococo manner for a more monumental and somber approach. With The Grief of Andromache of 1783, he was elected to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and his Serment des Horaces of 1784 became a manifesto for the new classicism.
David played a major role in the French Revolution, serving on the Committee for Public Instruction, organizing political pageants, and working on such revolutionary images as The Death of Marat . After the fall of Robespierre, he was arrested and imprisoned for a short time. David rose to power again, however, through his support of Napoleon, for whom he painted numerous portraits and grand commemorative pictures such as Le Sacre de Napoléon et Joséphine (1806). With the Bourbon Restoration, David was forced into exile in Brussels, where he maintained a studio and attempted in his late portraits and mythologies a reconciliation.
Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) - innovator of the Neoclassical Movement - was born in Paris on August 30, 1748 in France to a wealthy Third Estate family. At the age of 9, David's father died in a duel, and his mother put him in the hands of his uncles' to bring him up. David went to many schools throughout his early life, but never did real well because he was always busy drawing during class. At sixteen Louis David went to "painting school" at the Academie Royale. He had a certain interest in painting historical paintings and portraits. However, in his early career he produced many paintings of Greek and Roman mythology. He had his first training with Boucher, a distant relative, but Boucher realized that their temperaments were opposed and sent David to Vien. In 1776 he went to Italy with the latter, Vien having been appointed director of the French Academy at Rome, David having won the Prix de Rome in 1774.
While traveling to Italy, David became influenced by classical art, which soon evolved in his own neoclassical style and came into contact with the initiators of the new Classical revival, including Gavin Hamilton. In 1780 he returned to Paris, and in the 1780s his position was firmly established as the embodiment of the social and moral reaction from the frivolity of the Rococo. After many failures in the Academy's competition, David finally developed his own style and originality and his newly created neoclassical style was also used to represent contemporary political issues. He joined the Primitives, a group of other neoclassicists in Europe, and his work became the model for the next twenty years, received with acclamation by critics and public alike. His uncompromising subordination of color to drawing and his economy of statement were in keeping with the new severity of taste. His themes gave expression to the new cult of the civic virtues of stoical self-sacrifice, devotion to duty, honesty, and austerity. Seldom have paintings so completely typified the sentiment of an age as David's The Oath of the Horatii (Louvre, Paris, 1784), Brutus and his Dead Sons (Louvre, 1789), and The Death of Socrates (Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1787).
David was in active sympathy with the Revolution, becoming a Deputy and voting for the execution of Louis XVI. During the course of his involvement in the French Revolution (1789-1799), he reverted to a realistic style. He was an extremist and was a member of the Montagnards, the same group Robespierre, Marat, and Danton are associated with. Through his involvement in the Revolution and the Montagnards, Jacques-Louis David is remembered for many things other than his paintings, and not all of them are positive. He was one of the founders of France's museums, including the Louvre. He also a deputy to the National Convention and on the Committee of General Security and put more than 300 people to death. But his position was unchallenged as the painter of the Revolution. His three paintings of 'martyrs of the Revolution', though conceived as portraits, raised portraiture into the domain of universal tragedy, the most famous being 'The Death of Marat' (Musée Royaux, Brussels, 1793) After the fall of Robespierre (1794), however, he was imprisoned, but was released on demand of the public, his pupils and on the plea of his wife, who had previously divorced him because of his Revolutionary sympathies (she was a royalist). They were remarried in 1796, and David's Intervention of the Sabine Women (Louvre, 1794-99), begun while he was in prison, is said to have been painted to honor her, its theme being one of love prevailing over conflict. It was also interpreted at the time, however, as a plea for conciliation in the civil strife that France suffered after the Revolution and it was the work that re-established David's fortunes and brought him to the attention of Napoleon.
In 1797 David met Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon asked David to dinner, and David accepted. David asked to paint him, and Napoleon agreed, but David was allowed only one sitting with Napoleon and only got his face sketched. It was at this point that David fell in love with Napoleon Bonaparte, and he became David's hero. In 1800, David became Napoleon's official painter and remained at that position until 1815 when Napoleon's Empire collapsed. David became an ardent supporter of Napoleon and retained under him the dominant social and artistic position which he had previously held. Between 1802 and 1807 he painted a series of pictures glorifying the exploits of the Emperor, among them the enormous Coronation of Napoleon (Louvre, 1805-07). These works show a change both in technique and in feeling from the earlier Republican works. The cold colors and severe compositions of the heroic paintings gave place to a new feeling for pageantry which had something in common with Romantic painting, although he always remained opposed to the Romantic school.
After Napoleon’s downfall, David was exiled to Belgium, Brussels, and began painting mythological subjects again. His work weakened as the possibility of exerting a moral and social influence receded. (Until recently his late history paintings were generally scorned by critics, but their sensuous qualities are now winning them a more appreciative audience.) He continued to be an outstanding portraitist, but he never surpassed such earlier achievements as the great Napoleon Crossing the Alps (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1800, one of four versions) or the cooly erotic Madame Récamier (Louvre, 1800). Jacques-Louis David died on December 29, 1825 at the age of seventy-seven. His work had a resounding influence on the development of French - and indeed European - painting, and his many pupils included Gérard, Gros, and Ingres.
Jacques-Louis David was a supporter of the French Revolution and one of the leading figures of Neoclassicism. He was a distant relative of Boucher, who perhaps helped his early artistic progress as a pupil under Vien (1765). He won the Prix de Rome in 1774 and traveled with his master to Rome where he spent six years. It was during this period (1775-81), that he abandoned the grand manner of his early work, with its Baroque use of lighting and composition for a stark, highly finished and morally didactic style. This was influenced by the ideas then current in Rome and by artists such as Hamilton who were already experimenting with a Neoclassical idiom. In 1784 the change of style was confirmed by the Oath of the Horatii, probably the most famous and certainly the most severe of a series of works which extolled the antique virtues of stoicism, masculinity and patriotism. During the French Revolution, David played an active role both artistically he reorganized the Académie and produced numerous and spectacular propaganda exercises - and politically, as an avid supporter of Robespierre, who voted for the execution of the king. He also attempted to catalogue the new heroes of the age, abortively in the Oath of the Tennis Court, and successfully in his pieta-like portrayal of the Death of Marat (1793). He eventually lost out in the confused politics of the 1790s, was imprisoned under the moderate Directory and saved by the intervention of his estranged wife, symbolized in his Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799), a work which strained his Classicism in the search for Greek purity. In 1799 Napoléon gained power, and David gained a new hero. He recorded the general and later the Emperor in numerous propaganda pieces (e.g. Napoléon at Mont St Bernard, 1800; The Crowning of Joséphine) in which his sobriety was loosened by Napoléon's demand for grandeur. In professional terms, he failed to survive the fall of his master, and in 1815 retired in exile to Brussels, where he continued to work in a highly finished Classical vein, but resorted to myth for his subject-matter (e.g. The Disarming of Mars). Throughout his career he produced portraiture which not only catalogued the changing political spectrum, but also his own artistic developments (e.g. Antoine Lavoisier and his Wife, 1788). He was also a great teacher, numbering among his pupils Gros, Ingres, Gérard and Girodet, although few of them actually followed the severity of his style."
Jacques-Louis David was born into a prosperous middle-class family in Paris. In 1757 his mother left him to be raised by his uncles after his father was killed. He was never a good student in school- in his own words, "I was always hiding behind the instructors chair, drawing for the duration of the class".
When David was 16 he began studying art at the Académie Royale under the rococo painter J. M. Vien. After many unsuccessful attempts, he finally won the Prix de Rome in 1774, and on the ensuing trip to Italy he was strongly influenced by classical art and by the classically inspired work of the 17th-century painter Nicolas Poussin. David quickly evolved his own individual neoclassical style, drawing subject matter from ancient sources and basing form and gesture on Roman sculpture. His famous Oath of the Horatii was consciously intended as a proclamation of the new neoclassical style in which dramatic lighting, ideal forms, and gestural clarity are emphasized. Presenting a lofty moralistic (and by implication patriotic) theme, the work became the principal model for noble and heroic historical painting of the next two decades. It also launched his popularity and awarded him the right to take on his own students.
After 1789, David adopted a realistic rather than neoclassical painting style in order to record scenes of the French Revolution (1789-1799). David was very active in the Revolution, being elected a deputy to the National Convention on 17 September 1792. He took his place with the extremists known as the Montagnards along with Marat, Danton, and Robespierre.
During this time he had produced deeds both positive and negative: On the positive side he proposed the establishment of an inventory of all national treasures- making him one of the founders of France's museums. In fact, he played an active role in the organization of the future Louvre, Paris.
On the negative side, his radicalism during the Revolution bred within him a certain madness. He was appointed to the Comité de Salut Public in 1793 which gave him the power to sign nearly 300 arrested individuals to be guillotined. After the end of the Revolution, imprisoned because of his actions during the Reign of Terror, he wrote a letter to a friend stating, "I believed, in accepting the post of legislator an honorable post, but one very difficult to fulfill that an upright heart would suffice, but I was lacking in the second quality, by which I mean insight." A delegation of his students demanded his release, and he was freed on 28 December 1794.
Near the end of 1797 David met Napoléon Bonaparte. From 1799 to 1815 he was Napoléon's official painter, chronicling the reign of Napoléon I in huge works such as The Coronation of Napoléon and Joséphine. Following Napoléon's downfall in 1815, David was exiled to Brussels, where he returned to mythological subjects drawn from the Greek and Roman past. He stayed there until his death.
David, throughout his career, was also a prolific portraitist. Smaller in scale and more intimately human than his larger works, his portraits, such as the famous Madame Récamier, show great technical mastery and understanding of character. Many modern critics consider them his best work, especially because they are free from the moralizing messages and sometimes stilted technique of his neoclassical works.
Laure-Emilie-Felicité David, La Baronne Meunier (1812) La Bonne Aventure (1824) Napoléon in His Study Madame Seriziat with toddler (1795) Self Portrait (1794, 80x64cm) La Mort de Marat (1793, 162x125cm) Le Serment du Jeu de Paume (1791) Paris et Hélène (1788) Monsieur et Madame Lavoisier (1788, 265x224cm) La Mort de Socrate (1787) Le Serment des Horaces (1784, 330x425cm) Andromache Mourning Hector (1783) Alphonse Leroy (1783) The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789) Madame Récamier The Sabine Women Enforcing Peace by Running Between the Combatants (1799) The Battle Between Mars and Minerva (1770)