These are all art works by Jacques-Louis David throughout his lifetime and several significant compositions throughout Western Art History. This works are all from the Neoclassical period and David was the first to paint in this style.
This work my David is conveying the scene where Napoleon was crossing the Alps going to war. Napoleon is depicted as a significantly larger man than he was while he was alive, this enhancement was intentional to make Napoleon seem great and powerful. The artist took this same idea and applied a flowing red garment behind Napoleon. Red signifies importance, power, rage, and action.
The Marat in this image is a French radical that wrote works against the French government. He was painted in a tub because of a skin disease. David purposefully painted the Marat as a Christ like figure. A man that stood up for his beliefs and too action. The use of shadowing helps portray this message.
The Death of Socrates by David depicts the story of Socrates choice to drink poison rather than face exile for his beliefs. This action was his last lesson to his pupils that surround him in anguish. Socrates is central in the painting, and in a white cloth to show his purity in his beliefs.
In this work, Napoleon is seen standing in his study with an untidy desk and almost worn out look. This idea of catching Napoleon at work was intentional to show his civil work rather than is military greatness. The scroll to his right clearly says 'Code' which lets the viewer know that he is working on the Napoleon Code of laws.
This painting by David shows the Roman story of the three brothers that fight in honor of Rome. In this work the number three is seen in the arches, swords, and brothers. This number signifies the holy trinity and the martyrdom of these men like Christ did to relieve us of our sins.
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