David owed his rise to fame - after many reversals - to a painting for the execution of which he took his family to Rome, in order to absorb himself totally in the world of antique forms. It was The Oath of the Horatii. When he arrived to Rome, David rent a studio in the Via del Babuino. He worked in a very methodical manner on The Oath of the Horatii, drawing from life models and draped mannequins, and some very detailed studies survive for many of the main figures. He had accessories such as the swords and helmets made by local craftsmen so that they could serve as props. Drouais is supposed to have assisted David, painting the arm of the rear Horatii brother and the yellow garment of Sabina. The painting was finished at the end of July 1785, and was then exhibited in David's studio. David signed the painting and added the painting's place of origin to the signature and date: L David / faciebat / Romanae /Anno MDCCLXXXIV. The painting created a sensation, even the Pope wanted to view it. The story is from the 7th century B.C., and it tells of the triplet sons of Publius Horatius, who decided the struggle between Rome and Albalonga. One survived, but he killed his own sister because she wept for one of the fallen foes, to whom she was betrothed. Condemned to death for the murder of a sibling, Horatius' son is pardoned by the will of the people. Because of its austerity and depiction of dutiful patriotism, The Oath of the Horatii is often considered to be the clearest expression of Neoclassicism in painting. The painting's uncompromising directness, economy and tension made it instantly memorable and full of visual impact. Each of the three elements of the picture - the sons, the father and the women - is framed by a section of a Doric arcade, and the figures are located in a narrow stage-like space. David split the picture between the masculine resolve of the father and brothers and the slumped resignation of the women. The focal point of the work is occupied by the swords that old Horatius is about to distribute to his sons. While the rear two brothers take the oath with their left hands, the foremost one swears with his right. Perhaps David did this simply as a way of grouping the figures together, but people at the time noticed this detail, and some supposed that this meant that the brother in the front would be the one to survive the combat.
The swords glitter in the centre of the painting, and the outstretched arms raised in oath point to the weapons, indicating the coming deed. The finely judged angles of the arms form a melodious tripartite harmony, while the variously shaped swords express another aspect: this is not ordered preparation, it was a spontaneous action by ardent individuals.
The Oath of the Horatii proved to be a triumph for David. The public was overwhelmed by his break with the Baroque stylistic tradition. For the first time, the unity of time and action had been brought into a deliberately severe composition. The story of the passionate readiness of these heroes for self-sacrifice was known, and it was also recognized that the weeping women in the composition are an expression of foreboding, symbols of the tragedy to come.
This painting can be regarded as David's finest work, in which he has perfectly succeeded in immortalizing a contemporary political event as an image of social ideals. David's painting of Marat represents the peak of his involvement in the Revolution where invention, style, fervent belief and devotion combine to produce one of the most perfect examples of political painting. David presented the painting to the Convention on 14 November 1793. Jean-Paul Marat saw himself as a friend of the people, he was a doctor of medicine and a physicist, and above all he was editor of the news-sheet Ami du peuple. He suffered from a skin disease and had to perform his business for the revolution in a soothing bath. This is where David shows him, in the moment after the pernicious murder by Charlotte Corday, a supporter of the aristocracy. David had seen his fellow party member and friend the day before. Under the impact of their personal friendship David created his painting &quot;as if in a trance,&quot; as one of his pupils later reported. David takes the viewer into Marat's private room, making him the witness of the moments immediately after the murder. Marat's head and arm have sunk down, but the dead hand still holds pen and paper. This snapshot of exactly the minute between the last breath and death in the bathroom had an immense impact at the time, and it still has the same effect today. David has used a dark, immeasurable background to intensify the significance. The boldness of the high half of the room above the figure concentrates attention on the lowered head, and makes us all the more aware of the vacuum that has been created. The distribution of light here has been reversed from the usual practice, with dark above light. This is not only one of the most moving paintings of the time, but David has also created a secularised image of martyrdom. The painting has often, and rightly, been compared with Michelangelo's Pietà in Rome; in both the most striking element is the arm hanging down lifeless. Thus David has unobtrusively taken over the central image of martyrdom in Christianity to his image of Marat. Revolutionary and anti-religious as the painting of this period claimed to be, it is evident here that it very often had recourse to the iconography and pictorial vocabulary of the religious art of the past.
In his left hand Marat holds Charlotte Corday's deceitful note that reads (in David's own handwriting): 'July 13 1793: Marie-Anne-Charlotte Corday to citizen Marat/ It is enough for me to be truly wretched to have a right to your kindness'. Corday's actual note to Marat had ended: I am being persecuted for the sake of Liberty; I am unhappy, that is sufficient to give me the right to your protection', and the change in wording suggests that she accomplished her murderous deed by appealing to Marat's kind-hearted sympathy.
The exact title of the painting is: Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 Dec 1804. David was commissioned by Napoleon to paint a large composition commemorating his consecration, which had taken place in Notre Dame in Paris, on 2 December 1804. The picture was exhibited in the Salon Carré in the Louvre in 1808, then in the Salon of that year; it was next placed in the Tuileries, in the Salle des Gardes. Under Louis Philippe it was installed at Versailles in a room decorated in imitation of the Empire style, together with David's Distribution of the Eagles and Gros' Battle of Aboukir; in 1889 it was transferred to the Louvre, and its place at Versailles was taken by Roll's Marseillaise. In 1947 this latter picture was replaced by a replica of David's Consecration of Napoleon, begun by the painter in 1808 and not finished till 1822, in Brussels; this replica was bought by the Musées de France in England, in 1946. David seems to have derived his general composition from Rubens' Coronation of Queen Marie de Medici. In accordance with David's usual method, numerous studies, both painted and drawn, preceded the actual execution of the work. The best-known of these is the portrait of Pius VII, now in the Louvre. The painter then made a model, where he arranged dolls in costume. David had originally intended to portray the event faithfully, showing Napoleon crowning himself. The Emperor, remembering the quarrels between the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire, placed the crown on his own head to avoid giving a pledge of obedience of the temporal power to the Pontiff. But he evidently felt that it would not be desirable to perpetuate this somewhat disrespectful action in paint; so David painted the coronation of Josephine by Napoleon, with the Pope blessing the Empress. Grouped round the altar, near Napoleon, are the chief dignitaries — Cambécères, the Lord Chancellor, Marshal Berthier, Grand Veneur, Talleyrand, the Lord Chamberlain, and Lebrun, the Chief Treasurer. Madame de la Rochefoucauld carries the Empress's train; behind her are the Emperor's sisters, and his brothers Louis and Joseph. In front of the central stand are some of the marshals, and in it is Marie Laetitia, Madame Mère (the Emperor's mother), who was in fact not present at the ceremony.
David and his studio executed four versions of this painting, differing only slightly in the colour of the mantle.
At the approach of the French Revolution, when Greek and Roman civic virtues were extolled as salutary antidotes to the degeneracy of the Old Regime, David triumphed at the Salon with a succession of works, including this one, that gave clear expression to the moral and philosophical principles of his time. Socrates was accused by the Athenian government of impiety and corrupting the young through his teachings; he was offered the choice of renouncing his beliefs or being sentenced to death for treason. Faithful to his convictions and obedient to the law, Socrates chose to accept his sentence. Here Socrates reaches for the cup of poisonous hemlock while he discourses on the immortality of the soul. The Death of Socrates became a symbol of republican virtue and was a manifesto of the Neoclassical style.
David, the political activist, was imprisoned in 1794. He survived the political change, and while still in prison planned a return to history painting and started work on The Intervention of Sabine Women, a project that was to occupy him until 1799. This subject, from ancient Rome, was the aftermath of the rape of the Sabines when, to ensure the population growth of their city, Romulus and his Romans abducted the womenfolk of their neighbours, the Sabines. Three years passed before the Sabine men, led by Tatius, mounted a counterattack. For the first time in a history painting by David, the central figure is a woman, Hersilia, who forces herself between Romulus, her husband, on the right, and the Sabine Tatius, her father, on the left. Other women cling to the warriors and place themselves and their children between the opposing groups. In this painting David contrasted the violence of the rape with the pacification of the intervention. The image of family conflict in the Sabines was a metaphor of the revolutionary process which had now culminated in peace and reconciliation. The painting was a tribute to Madame David, and a recognition of the power of women as peacemakers.
18 a pics
Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 12e Chapter 28The Enlightenment and its Legacy: Art of the Late 18th through the Mid-19th Century Scientific Art & NeoClassicism
Characteristics of NeoClassical Architecture 1. Revisions of classical principles to include contemporary living requirements. 2. Sources – Palladio & Jones 3. Symmetry, balance, composition, order 4. Greek/Roman columns 5. Pediments over entrances & windows 6. Domes 7. Interior layout symmetrical 8. Room themes from ancient world or colorsFrom Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Innovations in NeoClassical Architecture 1. Cast iron used in substructure of buildings for strength and economics. 2. Classicists eschewed visible cast iron until Coalbrookdale bridge, made aesthetically pleasing. (family of ironworkers needed to transport materials across river – built the bridge.)From Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Characteristics of NeoClassical Painting • Mythological/Biblical scenes with modern context • Retelling of story to emphasize modern idea (Oath of Horatii – exemplum virtitus) • Subtexts referring to people, situations, or political states • Symmetrical compositions, linear perspective, carefully constructed backgrounds • Invisible brushwork, clear detailsFrom Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Innovations in NeoClassical Painting • Evolution of scientific art of the Enlightenment • Standard to give modern portraits ancient clothes & pose • Epic contemporary events with modern accuracy (Death of General Wolfe)From Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Characteristics of NeoClassical Sculpture 1. Realistic likeness 2. Realistic figural poses in contemporary clothing 3. Classical allusions are secondary 4. White marble, no paintFrom Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Innovations in NeoClassical Sculpture • More widespread use of bronze (more economical for 1st time) • Marble still widely used – believed to be preferred medium of ancients. • Importation of Elgin Marbles, installed into NeoClassically designed British Museum.From Barron’s AP Test Prep book
Fig 28-8William Hunter, Child in Womb; fromAnatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, 1774. British Library.
Figure 28-9 JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A Philosopher Giving a Lecture at theOrrery (in which a lamp is put in place of the sun), ca. 1763–1765. Oil on canvas, 4’ 10” x 6’ 8”. Derby Museums and Art Gallery, Derby, Derbyshire.
Figure 28-10 ABRAHAM DARBY III and THOMAS F. PRITCHARD, iron bridge at Coalbrookdale, England (first cast-iron bridge over the Severn River), 1776–1779. 100’ span.
Figure 28-11 JEAN-BAPTISTE GREUZE, The Village Bride, 1761. Oil on canvas, 3’ x 3’ 10 1/2”. Louvre, Paris.
The Taste for the Natural• Examine the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in contrast to Voltaire, his interest in the ‘natural’ as opposed to the ‘artificial,’ and artistic expression of these ideas.• Understand the different styles of the “natural” in France, England, the United States, and in Italy.• Examine choices of ‘ordinary’ life, the natural world, and sentimentality as subjects in art.
The Natural Taste in France• Examine the subject matter and formal elements in the “natural taste” in France.
Figure 28-12 JEAN-BAPTISTE- SIMÉON CHARDIN, Grace atTable, 1740. Oil on canvas, 1’ 7” x 1’ 3”. Louvre, Paris.
Figure 28-13 ÉLISABETHLOUISE VIGÉE-LEBRUN, Self-Portrait, 1790. Oil on canvas, 8’ 4” x 6’ 9”. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
The Natural Taste in England• Examine the issues of morality, satire, and narration in visual art in England.
Figure 28-14 WILLIAM HOGARTH, Breakfast Scene, from Marriage à la Mode, ca. 1745. Oil on canvas, approx. 2’ 4” x 3’. National Gallery, London.
The English Grand Manner Portrait• Examine the English Grand Manner portrait as an expression of the natural taste in Rococo form.
Figure 28-15 THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, Mrs. RichardBrinsley Sheridan, 1787. Oil on canvas, approx. 7’ 2 5/8” x 5’ 5/8”. NationalGallery of Art, Washington (Andrew W. Mellon Collection).
Figure 28-16 SIR JOSHUAREYNOLDS, Lord Heathfield,1787. Oil on canvas, approx. 4’ 8” x 3’ 9”. National Gallery, London.
Natural Taste in the United States• Examine the American taste for “downrightness” and plainness in art.
Figure 28-17 BENJAMIN WEST, The Death of General Wolfe, 1771. Oil on canvas,approx. 5’ x 7’ National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (gift of the Duke of Westminster,
Figure 28-18 JOHNSINGLETON COPLEY, Portrait of Paul Revere, ca. 1768–1770.Oil on canvas, 2’ 11 1/8” x 2’ 4”. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (gift of Joseph W., William B., and Edward H. R. Revere).
Italian Natural Taste and Tourism• Understand the concept of the “Grand Tour” and the expression of the “picturesque” in art.
Figure 28-19 ANTONIO CANALETTO, Basin of San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore, ca. 1740. Oil on canvas. The Wallace Collection, London.
Revival of Classicism• The discovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii created an interest in classical art.• The formal elements of classical art were revived in 19th century art and architecture.• Neoclassical art and architecture existed in France, England, and in the United States.• Classical and mythological subject matter were adapted in Neoclassical art.
Neoclassical Art in France• formal elements of classical art and their revival in 19th century.• adaptation of classical and mythological subject matter.
Figure 28-20 ANGELICA KAUFFMANN, Cornelia Presenting Her Children as Her Treasures, or Mother of the Gracchi, ca. 1785. Oil on canvas, 3’ 4” x 4’ 2”. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (the Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund).
Figure 28-21 JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID, Oath of the Horatii, 1784. Oil on canvas, approx. 11’ x 14’. Louvre, Paris.
Figure 28-22 JACQUES-LOUISDAVID, The Death of Marat, 1793. Oil on canvas, approx. 5’ 3” x 4’1”. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels.
Figure 28-23 JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID, The Coronation of Napoleon, 1805–1808. Oil on canvas, 20’ 4 1/2” x 32’ 1 3/4”. Louvre, Paris.
Napoleon at the St.Bernard Pass, 1801. Oil on canvas, 246 x 231 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Death of Socrates, 1787. Oil on canvas, 130 x196 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Intervention of the Sabine Women, 1799. Oil on canvas, 385 x522 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris
French Neoclassical Architecture• Examine classical revival in architecture as an expression of French power and glory.
Figure 28-24 JACQUES-GERMAIN SOUFFLOT, the Panthéon (Sainte-Geneviève), Paris, France, 1755–1792.
Figure 28-25 PIERRE VIGNON, La Madeleine, Paris, France, 1807–1842.