See also:LOUIS (1748-1825), French painter, was
See also:born in
See also:Paris on the 30th of
See also:April 1748 . His
See also:father was killed in a duel, when the boy was but nine years old . His
See also:education was begun at the
See also:des Quatre Nations, where he obtained a smattering of the
See also:classics; but, his
See also:talent being already obvious, he was soon placed by his
See also:guardian in the studio of
See also:Francois Boucher . Boucher speedily realized that his own erotic
See also:style did not suit the lad's
See also:genius, and recommended him to J . M .
See also:Vien, the
See also:pioneer of the classical reaction in
See also:painting . Under him David studied for some years, and, after several attempts to win the prix de Rome, at last succeeded in 1775, with his " Loves of
See also:Antiochus and Stratonice." Vien, who had just been appointed director of the French Academy at Rome, carried the youth with him to that city . The classical reaction was now in full
See also:tide; Winckelmann was writing,
See also:Mengs painting; and the treasures of the Vatican galleries helped to confirm David in a taste already moulded by so many kindred influences . This severely classical spirit inspired his first important painting, " Date obolum Belisario,"- exhibited at Paris in 1780 . The picture exactly suited the
See also:temper of the times, and was an immense success . It was followed by others, painted on the same principles, but with greater perfection of
See also:art: " The Grief of
See also:Andromache " (1783), " The
See also:Oath of the
See also:Horatii " (Salbn, 1785), " The
See also:Death of
See also:Socrates," " Love of Paris and
See also:Helen " (1788), "
See also:Brutus " (1789) . In the French drama an unimaginative imitation of
See also:models had long prevailed; even in art Poussin and Le Sueur were successful by expressing a
See also:bias in the same direction; and in the first years of the revolutionary
See also:movement the fashion of imitating the ancients even in
See also:dress and-
See also:manners went to the most extravagant length .
At this very
See also:time David returned to Paris; he was now painter to the
See also:king, Louis XVI., who had been the purchaser of his
See also:works, and his popularity was soon immense . At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, David was carried away by the
See also:flood of
See also:enthusiasm that made all the intellect of France believe in a new era of equality and emancipation from all the ills of
See also:life . The success of his
See also:sketch for the picture of the " Oath of the Tennis
See also:Court," and his pronounced republicanism, secured David's election to the
See also:Convention in
See also:September 1792, by the Section du Museum, and he quickly distinguished himself by the defence of two French artists in Rome who had fallen into the merciless hands of the Inquisition . As, in this
See also:matter, the behaviour of the authorities of the French Academy in Rome had been dictated by the tradition of subservience to authority, he used his influence to get it suppressed . In the
See also:January following his election into the Convention his
See also:vote was given for the king's death . Thus the man who was so greatly indebted to the
See also:Roman academy and to Louis XVI. assisted in the destruction of both, no doubt in obedience to a principle, like the
See also:act of Brutus in condemning his sons—a subject he painted with all his
See also:powers .
See also:Cato and stoicism were the
See also:order of the
See also:day . Hitherto the actor had walked the stage in
See also:modern dress . Brutus had been applauded in red-heeled shoes and culottes jarretees; but
See also:Talma, advised by David, appeared in toga and sandals before an enthusiastic
See also:audience . At this
See also:period of his life Mademoiselle de
See also:Noailles persuaded him to paint a sacred subject, with Christ as the hero . When the picture was done, the Saviour was found to be another Cato . " I told you so," he replied to the expostulations of the
See also:lady, " there is no inspiration in
See also:Christianity now!" David's revolutionary ideas, which led to his election to the
See also:presidency of the Convention and to the
See also:committee of general security, inspired his pictures " Last Moments of Lepelletier de
See also:Saint-Fargeau " and "
See also:Marat Assassinated." He also arranged the
See also:programme of the principal republican festivals .
See also:rose to power David became his enthusiastic admirer . His picture of Napoleon on horseback pointing the way to Italy is now in Berlin . During this period he also painted the" Rape of the Sabines" and "
See also:Leonidas at Thermopylae." Appointed painter to the emperor, David produced the two notable pictures "The
See also:Coronation " (of Josephine) and the " Distribution of the Eagles." On the return of the Bourbons the painter was exiled with the other remaining regicides, and retired to Brussels, where he again returned to classical subjects: " Amor quitting
See also:Psyche," "
See also:Mars disarmed by
See also:Venus," &c . He rejected the offer, made through Baron Humboldt, of the
See also:office of
See also:minister of
See also:fine arts at Berlin, and remained at Brussels till his death on the 29th of
See also:December 182 5 . His end was true to his whole career and to his
See also:nationality . While dying, a
See also:print of the Leonidas, one of his favourite subjects, was submitted to him . After vaguely looking at it a long time, " Il n'y a que moi qui pouvais concevoir la tete de Leonidas," he whispered, and died . His friends and his party thought to carry the
See also:body back to his beloved Paris for
See also:burial, but the
See also:government of the day arrested the procession at the frontier, an act which caused some
See also:scandal, and furnished the occasion of a terrible
See also:song of
See also:Beranger's . It is difficult for a generation which has witnessed another
See also:complete revolution in the
See also:standards of artistic taste to realize the secret of David's immense popularity in his own day . His style is severely
See also:academic, his
See also:colour lacking in richness and warmth, his execution hard and uninteresting in its very perfection . Subjects and treatment alike are inspired by the passing fashion of an age which had deceived itself into believing that it was living and moving in the spirit of classical antiquity . The inevitable reaction of the romantic movement made the masterpieces, which had filled the men of the Revolution with enthusiasm, seem
See also:cold and lifeless to those who had been taught to expect in art that atmosphere of mystery which in nature is everywhere
See also:present .
Yet David was a
See also:great artist, and exercised in his day and generation a great influence . His pictures are magnificent in their composition and their draughtsmanship; and his keen observation and insight into character are evident, especially in his portraits, notably of Madame Recamier, of the Conventional
See also:Gerard and of
See also:Boissy d'Anglas . See E . J . Delecluze, Louis David, son ecole et son temps (Paris, 1855), and Le Peintre Louis David . Souvenirs et documents inedits, by J . L . Jules David, the painter's
See also:grandson (Paris, 1880) .
BARON HORACE DAVEY DAVEY OF FERNHURST (1833—1907)...
DAVID (a Hebrew name meaning probably beloved 1)
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