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Jacques-Louis David facts for kids

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Jacques-Louis David
David Self Portrait.jpg
Self portrait of Jacques-Louis David, 1794, Musée du Louvre
Nationality  France
Known for Painting, Drawing
Notable work
Oath of the Horatii (1784), The Death of Marat (1793)
Movement Neoclassicism
Awards Prix de Rome

Jacques-Louis David (30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was both a politician and an artist who lived during the French Revolution. As a politician, he is most famous for being one of the handful of leaders that governed France during the most violent part of the French Revolution. David believed that France should not have a monarchy and instead it should be a Republic.

As a painter, Jacques-Louis David wanted artwork to be political. He often painted heroes from myths or history that he believed represented good ideals such as strength, brotherhood, and virtue. His paintings are very realistic and often portray heroes from Ancient Greece and Rome. This is called the Neoclassical style of painting. He developed his 'Empire style', notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. David had a huge number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the 19th century, especially academic Salon painting.

One of David's most famous paintings is of his best friend Jean-Paul Marat who was killed during the French Revolution. David's painting helped make Marat into a popular martyred hero.

His last great work, Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces was begun in 1822 and was finished the year before his death. “David wanted to outdo himself once more. In December 1823, he wrote: "This is the last picture I want to paint, but I want to surpass myself in it. I will put the date of my 75 years on it and afterwards I will never again pick up my brush."

The subject is taken from Greek mythology. The coloring is translucent and pearly, like painting on porcelain.” The painting was first shown in Brussels and then was sent to Paris, where David's former students flocked to see the it. The exhibit managed to bring in after operating costs, 13,000 francs, meaning there were more than 10,000 visitors, a huge amount for the time.

When David was leaving the theater, he was hit by a carriage and later died of deformations to the heart in December 29, 1824. David’s body was not allowed into France as he had voted to have the King of France Louis XVI killed with the guillotine which caused him to be exiled at the age of 65, after the French Revolution began to fail. Therefore he was buried in Brussels, but his heart was buried at Père Lachaise, Paris.

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