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|Artist Details : Jacques Louis David|
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Jacques Louis David
Jacques-Louis David. French historical painter born in Paris on 30th August 1748. David was a highly influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era.
Jacques-Louis David was a supporter of the French Revolution and a friend of Maximilien Robespierre 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 travelled 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. In 1784 the change of style was confirmed by the Oath of the Horatii which hangs in the Louvre in Paris. During the French Revolution, David played an active role both artistically - he reorganized the Académe 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, Brussels, Musée Royaux). He aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I. It was at this time that he developed his 'Empire style'. In 1799 Napoleon gained power, and David gained a new hero. He recorded the general and later the Emperor in numerous propaganda pieces, especially Napoleon at St Bernards Pass , 1800, Versailles, and the Crowning of Josephine. In professional terms, he failed to survive the fall of Napoleon, and retired to Brussels in 1815 where he died on 25th December 1825.
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