Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jacques-Louis David

File:David Self Portrait.jpg

Last year, for a an academic competition of which the theme was the French Revolution, one of the tested areas was art. In it, artists and styles of the era like Boucher and Rocco, Watteau with subgenres like fetes galante, and of David and neoclassicism, were presented. While I had found many of the artists fascinating, my favorite of those was Jacques-Louis David. In his work, David seems to pull together scenes build images that seem immortal. His works, massive and impressive, just give you that general "wow." David's drawing's, however, are far less impressive as paintings, history paintings particularly, were considered most prestigious.

As for David, he was a French painter of the Napoleonic era. One of the most prominent artists of his time, he practiced a neoclassical style, defined by line and themes such as nationalism. Born 1748, David had an early education in art under Joseph-Marie Vien. After enrolling in the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, David failed 4 times before finally winning the Prix de Rome and a scholarship trip to Italy. As David's prestige rose, Bonaparte eventually took notice and put David under him where David served as the artistic director and produced many pieces.

One of the most famous pieces of the revolution, though unfinished, was one of the Tennis court oath. In this picture, thought only inked, the drama in the scene is apparent.

Napoleon crossing he Alps. Not a drawing, but the style and presentation really appeal to me.

The Coronation of Napoleon. 20 ft by 32 ft.

"Jacques-Louis David." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011.>.

-Tianyu Shi

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