David Jacques Louis

David Jacques Louis

Jacques Louis David (1748-1825) was a nineteenth century French Neoclassical painter.


He trained in the studio of François Boucher and the Joseph Marie Vien before attending the Academie Royale and winning the Prix de Rome in 1774. His time in Italy studying the great Italian classical masterpieces helped him develop his neoclassical style.

On the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, David aligned himself with Robespierre and the revolutionary Jacobin group . He was among the committee to vote for the death of Louis XVI and his political convictions were clearly manifested in his works, many of which illustrated revolutionary themes. His masterpiece The Death of Marat (1793) is perhaps the best example of this overlap of his political and artistic beliefs.

 After the Revolution, upon the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, David refused the amnesty offered by the royal court, preferring self imposed exile to Belgium, where he died in 1825.

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