Top Ten Paintings by Jacques-Louis David

Top Ten Paintings by Jacques-Louis David

       Jacques-Louis David was born into a prosperous family in Paris on August 30, 1748. When he was nine, his father was killed in a duel, and his mother left him with his prosperous architect uncles. They saw to it that he received an excellent education at the College des Quatre Nations, but he was never a good student; he had a tumor that impeded his speech, and he was always too busy drawing. He covered his notebooks with his drawings, and he once said, “I was always hiding behind the instructor’s chair, drawing for the duration of the class.” Soon, he desired to be a painter, but his uncles and mother wanted him to be a soldier. He soon overcame the opposition, and went to learn from François Boucher, the leading painter of the time, who was also a distant relative. Boucher was a Rococo painter, which was falling out of style and becoming more classical. Boucher decided that instead of taking over David’s tutelage, he would send David to his friend Joseph-Marie Vien, a mediocre painter, but one that embraced the classical reaction to Rococo. There David attended the Royal Academy, based in what is now the Louvre.

  1. Bonaparte Crossing the St. Bernard Pass (1800)

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  2. The Death of Socrates (1787)

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  3. Consecration of Napoleon I (1807)

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  4. Napoleon in His Study (1812)

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  5. Leonidas at Thermopylae (1814)

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  6. Andromache Mourning Hector (1783)

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  7. The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799)

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  8. The Oath of Horatii (1784)

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  9. The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis (1818)

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  10. Portrait of Pierre Sériziat (1795)

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  11. Paris and Helen (1788)

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  12. The Funeral of Patroclus (1778)

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  13. The Combat of Mars and Minerva (1771)

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  14. The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789)

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  15. Belisarius (1781)

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  16. Sappho and Phaon (1809)

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  17. Portrait of Monsieur Lavoisier and His Wife (1788)

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