The Death of Socrates” was painted by a French painter . His name was Jacques Louis David. The painting represents the scene of the death of Greek philosopher Socrates. He was condemned to die by drinking hemlock for the expression of his ideas against those of Athens' and corrupting the minds of the youth. The painting also depicts both Plato and Crito, with the former sitting at the edge of the bed and the latter clutching the knee of Socrates. Socrates had the choice to go into exile and , hence, give up his philosophic vocation or be sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. Socrates chose death. In this painting, someone hands a confident Socrates the goblet of hemlock. Socrates' hand pointing to the heavens indicating his defiance of the gods and fearless attitude to his death.
hough he consulted Father Adry, a scholar on the subject, David’s depiction of Socrates death contains many historical inaccuracies. For simplicity, he removed many characters, including the wife of Socrates. However, he included Apollodorus, the man leaning against the wall just within the arch, even though he is said to have been sent away by Socrates for displaying too much grief. David also misrepresented the ages of many of the pupils of Socrates, including Plato. Plato would have been a young man at the time of Socrates’s death, but in this painting he is the old man sitting at the foot of the bed. Even the face of Socrates is much more idealized than the classical bust that is typically used as a reference portrait of Socrates.
David uses color to highlight the emotion in this painting. The shades of red are more muted on the edges of the painting and become more vibrant in the center, culminating in the dark red robe of the man holding the cup of poison. The only two serene men, Socrates and Plato, are garbed in a contrasting bluish-white. The more muted color scheme of this painting may be a response to critics of David’s Oath of the Horatii, who called his colors...
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