Jacques-Louis David

1748-1825 France Neo-Classical


Brief Biography-Jacques Louis David was from Paris, his father, who was an ironmonger, died in a duel in 1757, which affected David's temperament. His mother made him train as an architect, which was his uncle's profession, but in 1765 he decided he wanted to be a painter. He was closely associated with his distant cousin Francois Boucher who had him trained by the artist Joseph Marie Vien.
In 1771, when he submitted paintings to the Academy for the Prix de Rome and was rejected, for the second time, he tried to commit suicide by starving himself to death. He won the prize eventually in 1774. In 1775, he travelled to Rome where he spent the next five years. The work of several artists he encountered there inspired him, particularly that of Raphael. Back in Paris in 1781, he took on pupils, notably Antoine Jean Gros whom he mentored, and in 1796, he took on Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
In 1782, he inherited a substantial dowry when he married Charlotte Pecoul and was enjoying success with his paintings. After the French revolution in 1789, he became politically active in favour of the revolution. In 1792, he joined the National Convention and served on the Committee of General Security using his paintings as propaganda. In 1793, he had the French Academy dissolved and replaced with the Republican Society of the Arts. He also voted for the death of the King.
His wife, who was a royalist, divorced him in 1794. That year, they arrested David for supporting the revolutionary leader Robespierre who had been betrayed by the people and went to jail for six months. His wife pleaded for his release, and they got remarried in 1796. He subsequently withdrew from politics and concentrated on his paintings.
In 1799 Napoleon ceased power and made David his "Premier Pentre." When Napoleon abdicated in 1815, David was once again in danger as he had signed a petition stating he would be an enemy of the state when Napoleon was no longer in power. He went into exile in Brussels. Romantics like Gericault and Delacroix now held sway at the salon in Paris, leaving David in the past. In 1824, he was knocked down by a cab in Brussels and died the following year due to injuries. David's burial place is in Brussels.


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Death of Marat

Death of Marat

Marq- de Pastoret

Marquise de Pastoret

at the Pass

Napoleon at the Pass of Saint Bernard


Napoleon in his Study

Mars and Minerva

Combat of Mars and Minerva

The Oath of Horatio

The Oath of Horatio


Consecration of the emperor Napoloen

Death of Socrates

The Death of Socrates

Christ on the Cross

Christ on the Cross


Antiochus and Stratonica


Andromache Mourning Hector


Belisarious Receiving Alms

Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Phycse

Comte deTurenne

Comte deTurenne

Comtesse Vilain

Comtesse Vilain the Thirteenth and her Daughter

Emmanuel Sieyes

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes

The Sabine Women

Intervention of the Sabine Woman

Mars and Venus

Mars and Venus

Jean Ingres

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres




Leonidas at Thermopylae

Madame Seriziat

Madame Emilie Seriziat and her Son

Madame Recamier

Madame Recamier

Marguerite David

Marguerite-Charlotte David

Marie-F Buron

Marie-Francoise Buron

Monsieur Lavoisier

Monsieur Lavoisier and His Wife



Philippe-de Joubert

Philippe-Laurent de Joubert

Pierre Seriziat

Pierre Seriziat

Pope Pius VII

Pope Pius the Seventh

Saint Roch

Saint Roch Asking the Virgin Mary to Heal Victims of the Plague



Stanislaw Potocki

Stanislaw Kostka Potocki

The Farewell

The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis

The Death of Seneca

The Death of Seneca

Zenaide -

The Sisters Zenaide and Charlotte Bonaparte

The Lictors Bring-

The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons

Helen and Paris-

The Love of Helen and Paris detail