I must admit I’m really quite ignorant when it comes to art. I have never researched artists and their art before and have really no clue how the different periods lend their influence to their work. So going through the books in Lily library really was quite an experience. It was difficult to concentrate on the drawings of artists as most books focused on paintings instead. Most of the drawings were also really sketchy and didn’t have the intricate detailing that all the paintings had. I absolutely love strong lines and rather defined drawings that incorporate the tiniest of details. Hence I chose Jacques Louis David. To me, his drawings incorporated a nice mix of the hard lines and the strong dark shading that really made his work stand out for me. He doesn’t seem to be afraid to making the dark marks that make his work rather bold. David’s attention to precision detail and structure also make his work rather “exact” and life-like, which I enjoy.
Brief Biological Information
Jacques-Louis David (30 August 1748,
He was an outspoken political support and espoused the cause of the French Revolution, making him effectively a dictator of the arts under the
With Napoleon’s defeat at
Jacques Louis David early turned his back on the frivolous rococo manner, looking instead to antiquity for inspiration. He sought to reduce classical principles to their barest essentials. David had a clear understanding of the classical principles underlying the styles of the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. His work was highly influenced by the Roman style and was soon thoroughly imbued with the tenets of classicism.
David’s paintings reflect a strong interest in archeological exactitude in the depiction of figures and settings. His work carefully calculates the severity of composition and its emphasis on a sculptural harness of precise drawing, which he saw as more important than colour, which often contributed to the severity of the situations he loved depicting.
When the revolution was in full swing, David for a time abandoned his classical approach and began to paint scenes describing contemporary events, among them the unfinished Oath of the
He also concentrated on making portraits of the martyred heroes of the fight for freedom, including the Death of Marat (1793) and Death of Joseph Bara (1794), with a rather strong sense of realism. He was in fact at his best as a portraitist. Some of his portraits were executed with such directness and summarized the studied elegance of the neoclassical age with much perfection.
1781. Oil on canvas. 288 x 312 cm.
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France.
Le triomphe de peuple francaise
Paris, Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts
Horace vainqueur rentrant dans Rome
Black Pencil. H. 176; L. 112.
Inscription at the bottom:
S.A.I Madame mere /
de S.M. l'Empereur / par david
Mine de plomb, H.226; L.128
Besancon, Musee des Beaux-Arts et D'archeologie
- http://www.j acquesl ouisdavid.org/
- ALL IMAGES: Rosenberg, Pierre and Louis-Antoine Prat. Jacques-Louis David 1748-1825, Catalogue raisonné des dessins, Tome 1. Mondadori Electa Spa, 2002.
- Stein, Perrin. French Drawings from the
: Clouet to Seurat. The British Museum British MuseumPress and The of Art. 2005. Metropolitan Museum