J.L.David, Autorretrato de David.
J.L. David, Selfportrait,
Louvre Museum.

  • Biography:
         David was the true founder of french Neoclassicism. His pictorical works with sculptural features and polished colors were the best instance in 18th century. Boucher and Vien were his teachers. He was influenced by them in his first creations with a special sensualist touch. Then he will change to a most personal style.

         At 1774 David won a prize after showing in Academy his Fight between Minerva and Mars. Prize let him make his first travel to Italy. There he kept in touch in a decisive way for his carrer with Classical Antiquity. Back in Paris he joined Academy as a member. He showed Horatii's Oath. This work let him make concrete his ideas about the concept of classicism.

         During French Revolution David was a supporter of Robespierre: because that he went into prison. In Napoleon's age, his position changed. In 1800 he was Court's official portraitist. Thus, in this period, there are many Emperor's portraits. After Napoleon's fall, David spent his last years in Brussels.

  • Evaluation:

         David is one of the most well valued painters for international artistic world because of his important innovations in arts. We can set three important facts that define David's working:
    • He is the artist who took Classicism to its higher level.
    • He also cultivated a Realism full of sensory and touch features.
    • There are many works by David that sugest a fine romantic pathos. That is why he has been also seen as a forerunner for Romanticism.
         This David three dimensional lines are condensed and fused in his works, but his disciples divided them. That is David's secret. Ultraclassics and Romantics came from him.
  • His most representative works::
    J.L. David: Belisario pidiendo limosna, 1781. J.L. David, Belisarius Begging, 1781, oil on canvas, 2´88 x 2´12 m, Lille, Museum of Arts.
    With comment
    J.L. David: La muerte de Sócrates, 1787. J.L. David, Socrates' Death, 1787, oil on canvas, 1´3 x 1´93 m, Metropolitan Museum, New York.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: La muerte de Marat, 1793. J.L. David, Marat's Death, 1793, oil on canvas, 1´65 x 1´28 m, Bruselas, Royal Museums of Arts.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: El Juramento de los Horacios, 1794. J.L. David, Horatii's Oath, 1794, oil on canvas, 3´30 x 4´25 m, Museum of Louvre, Paris.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Las Sabinas interponiéndose entre romanos y sabinos, 1799. J.L. David, The Sabinas between Romans and Sabins, 1799, oil on canvas, 3´55 x 5´22 m, Museum of Louvre, Paris.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Madame de Verninac, 1799. J.L. David, Madame de Verninac, 1799, oil on canvas, Museum of Louvre, Paris.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Napoleón atravesando los Alpes, 1800-1801. J.L. David, Napoleon passing through the Alpes, or in St. Bernard Mountain1800-1801, oil on canvas.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Consagración de Napoleón I y Coronación de Josefina, 1806-1807. J.L. David, Consecration of Napoleon I and Coronation of Josephine, 1806-1807, oil on canvas, 621 x 979 cm, Museum of Louvre, París.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Marte desarmado por Venus, 1824. J.L. David, Mars Unarmed by Venus, 1824, oil on canvas, Bruselas.
    With comment.
    J.L. David: Los lictores llevan a Bruto los cadáveres J.L. David, Lictores taking the corpses to Brutus, 1789, oil on canvas, Brussels.
    With comment.
    Amelia van Buren J.L. David, Amelia van Buren, 1789, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
    Muchacha veneciana en el baño J.L. David, Venetian Girl at Bath, 1760, 148 x 95.9, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
    Patroclus J.L. David, Patroclus, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
    Lavoisier y su esposa J.L. David, Lavoisier and His Wife, 1788, 264.8 x 224.2, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, New York.
    Alphonse Leroy J.L. David, Alphonse Leroy, 1783, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.
    Paris and Helen J.L. David, Paris and Helen, 1788, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.
    Madame Seriziat J.L. David, Madame Seriziat, 1795, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

    Written by:
    Beatriz Aragonés Escobar.
    Licentiate in Art History

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