Jaques-Louis David Essay, Research Paper
The story of modern art begins with Jaques-Louis David. He became a dictator of the arts and designed huge propagandas. He painted such pieces as, The Oath of the Horatii that was aclaimed in Rome and aseries of sensational paintings. David painted figures are parallel to the picture-plane. Each stroke of his brush or pencil occuples an unambiguously defined spatial position, which has won him the Prize of Prix de Rome [Canaday 7]. He marked the begining of French modern art and influenced men and women from their dress to their own morality.
Early disapointments, an attempted suicide, a Roman experience, and therafter his participation in political events determined the character of his own art and redirected the cource of European painting. David established himself as art dictator of France, where his paintings influenced everythging from philosophical morality to interior decoration. Davids paintings influenced womans European wardrobe to look like the females in David’s paintings. It was the most drastic “new look” in the history of fashion [Canaday 7]. This would be a begining of David’s career.
David was exceptionally sensitive to the climate of the times he lived through. David’s first important picture, St. Roch Begging the virgin to intercede for the Plague-stricken, shows affinities [Smith 117]. The striking thing about it is the intensity with which the dead and dying are represented. This painting which won David’s first success at the Salon, the Belisanus where he stayed there in 1781 [Smith 117]. He was a court painter to Napoleon after being a member of the revolutionary Convention [Smith 118]. All of these experiences helped to develope David’s painting career.
Another important picture, The Oath of the Horatii was perhaps the most important French Neoclaasic picture [Art Dictionary]. The simple, serve and uncomparrisining in the subordination of color to drawing. The Oath of Horatii was also highly topical in its Republican implicants [Art Dictionary]. It was followed by other large pictures that described classical and Republican issues.
Through his career, David was a master portraitist. His portrait of Madame Pecoul (the second wife of his father-in-law) is wonderfully sympathetic without being in the least flattering [Smith 179]. The unfinshed portrait shows how he was able to show beautiful woman without denying her of her beauty. The picture shows how again, David had changed the dress, the furinture, and even the manners of his time [Smith 179].
His pupils were another way to exersize his influence of his paintings. The Royal Academy, developed by David guided artistic concepts to those put forward by his teachings. The Feast of Reason, another one of David’s extrordinary paintings, abloshed the Royal Academy in 1793. He then help find the Institute which replaced the Royal Academy.
David often denies himself, on Stoic principle that the expression of emotions of either pleasure or pain is a weakness [Canaday 21]. An observer of The Oath of Horatii is likely to feel not so much as the artist is sharinging an experence or an idea as that he is teaching a lesson [Text Book]. But he did not intended for public exhibitors. He wanted them to teach and to let people learn through his art.
David offers the best starting point for a story of modern art, not because he was the earliest classicist but because he is alone in the severity, the purity of his demonstration of neoclassical doctrine [Smith 6]. He represented the story of modern art in the way that the French Revolution, he changed the which people looked and were influnced by art [Art Dictionary].