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Jacques-Louis David
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jacques-Louis David|

Self portrait of Jacques-Louis David, 1794,Musée du Louvre| Birth name| Jacques-Louis David|
Born| 30 August 1748
Paris, France|
Died| 29 December 1825 (aged 77)
Brussels, Netherlands|
Nationality| French|
Field| Painting, Drawing|
Movement| Neoclassicism|
Works| Oath of the Horatii (1784), The Death of Marat (1793)| | |
Jacques-Louis David (i/ʒɑːkˈlwi ˈdɑːviːd/; French: [ʒak lwi david]) (30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling[1] chiming with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime. David later became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was effectively a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre's fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I. It was at this time that he developed his Empire style, notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. David had a huge number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially academic Salon painting. * |

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[edit]Early life
Jacques-Louis David was born into a prosperous family in Paris on 30 August 1748. When he was about nine his father was killed in a duel and his mother left him with his prosperous architect uncles. They saw to it that he received an excellent education at the Collège des Quatre-Nations, but he was never a good student: he had a facial tumor that impeded his speech, and he was always preoccupied with drawing. He covered his notebooks with drawings, and he once said, "I was always hiding behind the instructor's chair, drawing for the duration of the class". Soon, he desired to be a painter, but his uncles and mother wanted him to be an architect. He overcame the opposition, and went to learn from François Boucher(1703–1770), the leading painter of the time, who was also a distant relative. Boucher was a Rococo painter, but tastes were changing, and the fashion for Rococo was giving way to a more classical style. Boucher decided that instead of taking over David's tutelage, he would send David to his friend Joseph-Marie Vien (1716–1809), a painter who embraced the classical reaction to Rococo. There David attended the Royal Academy, based in what is now the Louvre. David attempted to win the Prix de Rome, an art scholarship to the French Academy in Rome, five times. At each failure he became increasingly frustrated with the Academy for denying him the prize, and this dissatisfaction sowed the seeds of a long-standing grudge against the institution. Once, he lost according to legend because he had not consulted Vien, one of the judges. Another time, he lost because a few other students had been competing for years, and Vien felt David's education could wait for these other mediocre painters. After his loss in 1772 he engaged in a hunger strike which ended after 2.5 days when his professors called on him and encouraged him to continue painting. Reassured, he continued his studies, only to fail to win the Prix de Rome again the following year. Finally, in 1774, David won the Prix de Rome with his canvas "Érasistrate découvre la raison de la maladie d'Antiochus". Normally, he would have had to attend another school before attending the Academy in Rome, but Vien's influence kept him out of it. He went to Italy with Vien in 1775, as Vien had been appointed director of the French Academy at Rome. While in Italy, David observed the Italian masterpieces and the...
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