Tuesday Art ATTACK- Jacques-Louis David "The Oath of the Horatii"
Posted on February 11 2014
French artist Jacques-Louis David was born in Paris, France on 30 August 1748 to a wealthy family. When he was nine years old his father was killed in a duel and he moved in with his uncles. In school he was never a good student, drawing in his notebook in class instead of working. Art was an escape for David, who had a bad stammer due to a facial tumor. On his insistence his Uncles decided he should receive an arts education and would apprentice with François Boucher (a leading artist of the time and relative). When David was eighteen he started studying at the Royal Academy under Joseph-Marie Vien. After five attempts David won the Prix de Rome (a scholarship to the French Academy in Rome), a great honor. David would spend five years in Rome where he fell in love with classic elements and design. When David returned from Rome he would soon cause a sensation with his work "The Oath of the Horatii". At the time Rococo was the premier style of art but the creation of this painting popularized Neoclassicism and made David a star. David would become one of the most influential painters of his time and a key collaborator with Napoleon. His portraits of Napoleon would help glorify the ruler and tide public perception. After Napoleons fall from power because of their close association David placed himself in exile and refused to paint for the Royal court. David continued to be popular until his death in 1825 after being struck by a carriage.