How France’s Violent Revolutions Impacted Some of Its Most Important Artists
The art of Jacques-Louis David is a prime example of Neoclassicism, a style of history painting that flourished in France during the late 18th- and early 19th-centuries. Reacting against the highly ornamented and florid art of the Rococo, David drew upon subjects from ancient European history and Classical civilizations, such as in the Death of Socrates (1787) and Oath of the Horatii (1784). From King Louis XVI’s execution during the French Revolution through the fall of Napoleon’s reign, David painted some of France’s most important historical figures, including royalty, radical revolutionaries (as in Death of Marat (1783)), to Emperor Napoleon himself (as in The Coronation of Napoleon (1805-07). Although David died in exile, his legacy was passed on to generations of artists, including his student Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
French, 1748-1825, Paris, France