Jacques Louis David (1748-1825)

Jacques Louis David was born in Paris on August 30, 1748. He was born into a prosperous family. When he was about 9, his father had died in a duel and his mother left him with his architect uncles. His uncles seen in him that he had receive an amazing education from his college, but knew that he was never a good student. Jacques had a facial tumor that impeded his speech. He would always be occupied with drawing; doing it every chance he got and to also make his time in class go much faster.  With drawing he ended up growing into liking painting, even though his whole family preferred him to be an architect. In his lifetime he attempted to win an art scholarship 4 years in a row. He finally won it the final year but prior to winning the scholarship, he had assumptions that some how the final results were being altered so in protest he decided to attempt starving himself to death. He was apart of the Neoclassical movement, providing a whole new spin to how art was seen in his field.

This is one of his paintings titled, ” Antonie Laurent. Lavoisier and His Wife.” This painting was made in 1788 with oil on canvas. The dimensions of the painting is 102 1/4 x 76 5/8 in. This painting was not publicly exhibited for a century due to political reasons. This portrait painting allows the fewer to notice and feel the love in the room with this art piece. Despite the color, the way Lavoisier is staring up at his wife while she’s all over him allow the image to be viewed as loving and comfortable. The colors seem to be very subtle and relaxing. Nothing sticks out more than anything else within this painting.

This is another portrait painted by Jacques of, General Étienne-Maurice Gérard. This painting was made in 1816 with oil on canvas. The dimensions of this painting is 77 5/8 x 53 5/8 in. After Napoleopn’s defeat at battle of Waterloo, Jacques went into exile in Brussels where we painting the General. Jacques was seen as a leading figure in the French revolution and first painter to the Emperor. This painting allows the viewer to see that this portrait is of a man with power. Just the way the man is able to stand looking bigger than usual, allows the image to come out as he his over powering everyone else. Showing his sword on his hip allowing people to know he’s ready.

This picture I was able to see in person in the Met. The name of this painting by Jacques is called, “The Death of Socrates.” This was made in 1787 with oil on canvas. The dimensions of this art piece is 51 x 77 1/4 in. Socrates was executed for his crime of impiety, he declined to renounce his beliefs and died willingly. This art piece allows the viewer to automatically find Socrates and see that he’s seem to as strong. Even with all the emotions going on around him, he’s still able to go for what he believes him and what he know’s is right.


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