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Jacques-Louis David

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Jacques-Louis David was a French painter and towering figure of Neoclassicism. Despite having trained briefly with Boucher (the exemplar of the light-hearted and fanciful Rococo style), David chose to follow a path of austere history painting. Having won the Prix de Rome in 1774, his time in Italy allowed him to absorb all manner of antique influences. His work stressed the importance of line over color and drew on ideas surrounding the classical virtues of duty and stoicism. With the outbreak of the French Revolution, David befriended Robespierre and became his chief visual propagandist. Blessed with fluid loyalties, he flourished once again with the rise of Napoleon, helping to create the ‘Empire Style’. Between 1802 and 1807 he produced a string of heroically idealized portraits of Bonaparte, but was forced into exile after his master’s fall from power. His influence on later French painting was second to none, having given birth to the entire 19th-century Academic tradition.

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Strike a Pose: Adlocutio

Strike a Pose: Adlocutio

Each installment of Strike a Pose features one of art history’s most seminal postures. Mediums range from sculpture to oils…

“I Will Go Through Hundreds or Thousands of Photographs Before I Find the Right Image to Work On”

“I Will Go Through Hundreds or Thousands of Photographs Before I Find the Right Image to Work On”

(Read more exclusive artist interviews here.)

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The Hermitage Museum: Curated Picks

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Brutes and Beasts

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Works (39)

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