Jacques-Louis David painting: the description and photos

the Artist, who in their works reflect all the stages of the political life of France, and served as a bright public figure, actively involved in the revolutionary movement. The founder of Neoclassicism responsive to all the changes taking place in society, and the direction in painting, which he laid, continued to develop new generations of masters.

a short biography of the Creator

the Great Jacques-Louis David, whose paintings brought him fame, was born in Paris in 1748. At the age of 18 he entered the Academy of fine arts, where his mentor was Joseph Marie Vien-famous at the time, the artist, unjustly forgotten now. He instills in the boy a love of classicism and Rococo, and requires the achievement of “truth and greatness" in the works. David, who carefully study the works of Michelangelo and Raphael, wants to be in Italy to perfect their skill in the cradle of the Renaissance. Received prize as the best student of the Academy, the young artist in 1775, sent to the country with a rich culture.

In Italy it communicates with the lovers of antiquity, who introduces him to the great masterpieces while admiring the artist, I bow before the genius of sculptors and artists, admits that “with his eyes like the scales fell”. Jacques-Louis is not trying to imitate the works of ancient masters, and is looking for its way: “Understand how imperfect my style, and I'm ready to go through a lot to get closer to the truth. I need to tend to the level of Raphael”.

a Painter and revolutionary

Returned to France, its critical to recognise the work of Jacques-Louis David, whose paintings evoke mixed views in society, is actively involved in the revolutionary movement. It is adjacent to the radical Robespierre and Marat, voted for the death of king Louis XVI and after Thermidorian coup he goes to prison for their views.


When the power comes Napoleon, a former revolutionary, takes an active part in political life and becomes an ardent admirer of the Emperor, making him the first French artist and court painter. After the overthrow of Bonaparte Jacques-Louis flees to Brussels, where he died in 1825, leaving about 500 students.

an expression of the views of the author

Art of the Creator has evolved along with his style and expressed aesthetic views of the artist. He conveyed in his paintings the essence of the ideals of Ancient Rome and Greece, talking about sacrifice and virtue. The artist rejected the complex angles, excess distracting from the essence of the works details and beautiful background. Like bringing to the stage their characters, were sent to them bright light the famous Jacques-Louis David.

Pattern of ideas which has long nurtured the Creator appeared in the peace and quiet, away from the bustle of the human. All antique images have not been removed for heroes of the painter, and the choice of subjects did not obey the fashion trends.

a Work that became a turning point in the creation wizard

interesting to discuss the paintings the Creator of which personally participated in revolutionary action, and his works can be seen not only the ideological justification of the events, but the sacrifice paid by the rebels. I wanted to tell had seen with his own eyes the overthrow of the old foundations of Jacques Louis David?
Painting “Vow Horatii” appeared in 1784 and pioneered a new style – the revolutionary classicism. She brought unprecedented success to the author, using many of the techniques characteristic directions.

Prehistory bloody battle

the Artist talks that preceded the historic battle that took place between the brothers Goracymi from Rome and Curiatii of Alba Longa – losing his influence the main city of the italic of the Union.

Two settlements fought for the lead, however, such strife could not last long. According to historians, the winning city had to decide after the decisive battle of the valiant warriors. The bloody battle still alive one of the brothers Horatii, and Alba-Longa obeyed all the requirements of Rome. Learn about the historic battle, decided to convey the sense of patriotism of young people Jacques-Louis David.

“Vow Horatii”: a description of a picture

the Author has captured the very moment when the father blesses his children in a deadly fight, handing them swords. Three brothers, thoughts which are devoid of doubts and contradictions, swear to defend the Motherland. They realize that they may die, but enter into battle, believing in the triumph of justice. Interestingly, opponents of the Romans – their children's friends, but this fact did not prevent Goracym to deal with them. Great genius Jacques-Louis David, the description of pictures which makes it clear to the audience what an incredible talent he possessed, to the right of the courageous men portrayed a group of grieving women who understand the inevitability of the loss of loved ones.

Mother of glorious heroes gently hugs the grandchildren, then sister brothers – the bride of one of albancev, bowed to the sister of opponents – the wife of one of Horatii. The artist has shown not only the willingness to make sacrifices, but also personal experiences of desperate women. If the brothers and the father depicted as the main characters, the mother and sisters – secondary characters that complement the composition.

In the background Jacques-Louis David, whose paintings reflect the values of the Enlightenment, placed three arches, corresponding to the groups of the figures of the brothers, women and dad, supplying weapons to the sons.
main characters of the directional light to show them the importance and the background of the picture is shaded, so as not to distract attention from ready for the battle brothers. Strong emotions manifest suffering of a woman, and a strict men only doing their duty.

the Painting, which strengthens the spirit of man

the Line of the heroic classicism continued the new work of the painter, which appeared in 1787. You need to talk about unjustly sentenced to death the philosopher, before making a description of the painting "Death of Socrates". Jacques Louis David became interested in the fate of the ancient Greek hero who drinks poison with an unknown composition. Who had amassed a lot of enemies, the philosopher, decided to accept my fate, was accused of ‘the disrespect of the gods”.
On the canvas, Socrates addresses his disciples a farewell speech. One hand is raised up and the other reaching for the vial of poison, but not for him. And this gesture is considered a key, it creates the impression of suspended time and expresses the immortality of the human spirit, as the teacher, impressed with his speech, oblivious to the fact that he would live very little.


Solemnity of the scene give the characters, the movements and the people whom read the particular grandeur and also their location along the front plane of the Grand canvas called a genius. On the eve of the revolution Jacques Louis David, whose paintings make each one think about the eternal, tried to strengthen the spirit of the French example of the incredible durability of Socrates, death of the host.

New time – new style

the Artist painted pictures on historical subjects, he created a huge number of portraits which are preserved in various museums. The founder of a new direction in art handed unique skills to his many students, however, neoclassical style very quickly out of fashion. After the overthrow of Napoleon, he too was reminded about the bloody events that occurred in the history of France. To replace him came a soft, satisfying the tastes of the new authorities, the style pupil of David – by Jean Auguste Ingres.

In our article, we discussed the biography and the main paintings of Jacques-Louis David (names have genius no problems – they clearly convey the essence of each work). One can only admire the unique talent of a genius, a workshop which became the real cradle of the art of France.