Davidian Neoclassicism Essay

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Davidian Neoclassicism Jacques-Louis David was born in the year 1748 and lived through much change in France till 1825. Having lived through a “revolutionary war, Napoleon, and the Bourbon Restoration”, he had much inspiration to paint such profound pictures. David was painting in a new era of art called neoclassicism, and he embraced the era in his own way, and made his name very well known. Neoclassicism scholars often referred to this era as “Davidian Neoclassicism”(19th Century Art, pg 26) because of David’s success. His techniques and talent helped him paint very strong pictures of masculinity, and heroism, yet taking risks of painting in new ways. David’s interest was in classical art, Greek and Roman art, yet he would paint conflicts that were arising in France, and would show these conflicts through classical looking characters, and scenery. People were vastly interested in this new idea of art, because it did not directly portray the problems that France faced. In the portrait below, David portrays the Sabine Women as coming in between the Greeks and Romans because they already have children and lives with the Roman men, so warriors are only doing worse for the women if they continue fighting. The courageous women came into the war themselves to stop the fighting. But that is only the top layer of this story. In fact, David is actually portraying the conflicts his own country faces, which was the French revolution. He sends the underlying message that everyone was tired of the fighting and that it needed to cease, not only for the good of the people, but the country as well. Usually artists painted their own versions of what is going on in their country, but David portrays it through classical looking characters. This makes his work very different and eye catching. The way that David painted this work of art makes us immediately think of virtue and

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