Smoke20 on 07/24/2008
|Complete the titles of these works by the "revolutionary" French painter whose heroic Neoclassical style brought a clean new realism to art, with historical themes perfectly attuned to his own time. His vibrant, passionate pictures spanned the Ancien Regime, the French Revolution, and all of Napoleon's meteoric career. |
David was a loner who wrapped himself in his art because a facial disfigurement made him a near-recluse at a young age. Inspired with revolutionary sentiments at school, he was a close friend of Robespierre, and under the revolutionary government held enormous power over the arts. His "propaganda" paintings were quite controversial during this period of dangerously shifting political winds. Near the end of the Terror he was briefly imprisoned, but his work had caught the eye of the rising Napoleon, and he was soon released and honored with commissions.
Withdrawing from public life, he established a highly successful school, and functioned as Napoleon's court painter throughout his reign. Bonapartist to the end, he died in voluntary exile, though the restored Bourbon king invited him home with honor. Hit and fatally injured by a carriage as he was leaving the theater in Brussels, his body was buried in Belgium, and his heart returned to his beloved Paris, where it was interred at Pere Lachaise.
One of the most interesting useless things I know is that David, through a twist of revolutionary fate, happened to have signed the death warrant of Alexandre de Beauharnais, the future Empress Josephine's first husband, thereby making her a widow with two young children desperately in need of the protection of a certain young general.
You'll find a knowledge of history a help with the questions if you're less than familiar with the paintings. I hope you'll search out these stunning works if you don't know them already.
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