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Jacques-Louis David

( Artist)

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Biography Jacques-Louis David
photo Jacques-Louis David

At the end of XVIII century, the artist is aware of itself an independent creative personality, and society recognizes the significance of the artist's personality, it becomes public and political figure. One of the first on this road was the famous French painter Jacques-Louis David. In the artistic life of the time he entered as a disturber of peace painful, which more resembled the calm before the storm.

. The Enlightenment in France, approved the new materialist philosophy, the cult of reason, science, brought new social ideas, new morals, new aesthetics
. This time of Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu, ruler of the minds of Jean Jacques Rousseau

. Written by Rousseau in 1761, a novel in letters' Julia, . or the New Eloise ", . telling the bitter love of the poor teacher to the daughter of an aristocrat, . become a handbook every little bit literate Frenchman; over him crying the whole country - from the Princess, . future ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette, . to the provincial attorney, . her future executioner Maximilien Robespierre,
. Of course, each found in the famous novel and other works of Jean Jacques something of their own. Some were convinced of the virtues inherent rights, of which spoil the laws of society, false, inhuman, and therefore doomed to destruction for the sake of prosperity and equality of all people in the name of higher justice. Others saw a fresh, sincere lyrics Rousseau only a new fashion. High society ladies in unison wearing medallions with portraits of beloved friends, . depicting the graves of their loved ones, . willingly shed tears and fainted, in suburban parks appeared temples Friendship, . arbor Virtue, . altars of Mercy, in painting to replace powdered pupae, Marquis and playful shepherds came moralizing family scenes, . where the poor girl wept for the dead birds, . children selflessly caring for the elderly paralytic, . likewise with patchy mutual love marriage ..,
. It was still kind of step forward: to discover the art of 'small' Rights, . tried made poetry his life, . find a new hero, . which becomes, . Finally, . representative of the third estate, . industrious bourgeois, . creator of national wealth.,

. The first to respond to new developments portrait - the most flexible and sensitive genre, which is easy to combine tradition and innovation
. Since the beginning of XVIII century in French culture is constantly growing interest in the personality, which reached a peak in the 'Confessions' Rousseau and led to skyrocketing portraiture. It is in this genre came on Jacques-Louis David, and in 1781, already a 33-year authoritative master, struck Paris, a portrait of a Polish Count Potocki. Were wonderful, not only the size of the picture - roughly two to three meters, which is why he could not fit in the cabin and the audience went to see him in the artist's studio - but also the phenomenon of a hero.

If the recently reigned in painting awnings Stanislaw Potocki more like a powdered wig, at the respectable bourgeois, he looks like the least. David creates a symbol, introduced the young man confidently sitting on handsome man horse that bowed his head to the will of the rider, winner. This is a new ethical ideal, the formula for a new man - educator, social activist, who will soon become the Count Potocki, and David seemed to guessing his future.

The same idea is nothing artistic solution in the portrait of a doctor Leroy, which compared to heroic-romantic portrait of Potocki seems stressed earthly and everyday. David wrote his clothes at home, in a shaded corner of the working cabinet - we see only the back of a chair, a table, a few books, retort. Two bright spots - the hand with a pen over a blank sheet of paper and a scientist on the face of a snow-white frill, lit up by intense effort of thought.

New features of the opening of David and in the traditional way of bourgeois. Tightly gripping the arms of the chair an impressive and rich stout Pekul with his piercing gaze and a frightening grin - is no longer worker-ant, . filled virtues, . a kite, . which is about to fall through the prey, . is the future hero of Balzac's 'Comedie Humaine'.,

. J. David
. Portrait of Louise Trudeau. 1790-1791

Portrait of Louise Trudeau - one of the masterpieces of David. The artist knew her family, . visited their home, . where one could meet a famous poet, . singer and the victim of the French Revolution Andre Chenier, . philosopher and educator, . encyclopedic Marquis de Condorcet, . one of the founders of the Jacobin Club and the authors 'declaration of human rights and citizens' Emmanuel Sieyes,
. Girl from this family does not like the usual for that time, women's images. In a modest black dress, . which allocated only a white scarf and pale blue zone, . She sits on a simple chair in an empty corner - more on the portrait nothing, . space is flooded with glowing red strokes deaf background, . which reminds, . perhaps, . the discoveries of Van Gogh, . made more than a hundred years after David,
. How eloquent this fiery element, makes a beautiful delicate girl in a dramatic symbol of pre-revolutionary years!

It was in the French culture of the second half of XVIII century, another important feature of. Along with the desire for the traditional virtues of natural laws (remember the famous call of Rousseau: 'Back to nature! ") Revives the heroic ideal of antiquity. Ancient Athens, Sparta, republican Rome - to them facing views of Diderot, Rousseau, D'Alembert, they raved future leaders of the Revolution - Robespierre, Danton, Marat. All sounded louder voice about the great deeds, patriotism, fight against tyrants. According to the aesthetics of the time, . art should be true to nature, . hence, . imitate the most accurate reflection of its ancient samples, . primarily sculpture, . which is becoming more like painting: the main thing in her drawing, . range, . Geometry,

At the beginning of an alloy sentimentalism with classicism is not nothing good comes out, fruit only cabin scenes from the lives of young Romans and Roman women, which was famous teacher David - Vien. David went the other way - he discovered and showed contemporaries antiquity harsh and tragic. France stood on the threshold of the greatest shocks in its history, its art was crowded in the park pavilions and grottos, in the home. It was supposed to go to the square, at a forum to speak in full voice.

Over the five years before the French Revolution, David wrote the picture, which launched the revolutionary new style of classicism, - 'Oath of the Horatii' (1784). Old father - the embodiment of a true Roman - blesses his sons in battle, holding out his arms, to which they are in the rapid burst spreads out his hands. Artist waives any prettiness and elegance, from the details and the details. Driven to limit the severity of style and avarice of expressive means are powerful charge of energy. All artistic techniques - contrasts monosyllabic colors, hard figure, concise symmetry of composition, clarity and accuracy of character - are working on creating an image of a harsh and merciless struggle, as if heralding a storm close. 'Oath of the Horatii' brought the artist a real triumph, and was largely determined by his fate in the years of revolution.

In early 1792, King Louis XVI of France commissioned a portrait of David. Ironically, the artist, wishing to explore the best examples of the past, asked the National Library of printmaking with an excellent, written by Van Dyck portrait of Charles I of England - the first in the history of the King, who was executed by the Revolutionary Court. Louis XVI became the second, for which he voted in favor of the elected deputies of the Convention, David. Portrait forever unfinished. Many are outraged, . David has amassed many enemies in his intense activity in the Jacobin dictatorship, . even open enemies could not recognize, . that the artist, the deputy managed in a short time to transform the artistic life of France, . paving the way for radically new art of the future of the XIX century,

J. David. Portrait of Doctor Leroy. Salon 1783

The first shot brought down David at the Royal Academy, which blocked the road around the new, prigrev under his wing talentless nonentities. 'Academics' not only held tight to its rights and privileges, they are denied access to the Salon to anyone who was not part of their clan. David has made to the Constituent Assembly a proposal to make a salon in 1791 free to all comers, and a year later the decision of the Convention - again with the filing of David - The Royal Academy had ceased to exist. Instead, it appeared first public art organization, the brainchild of David - The municipality of Art, Folk Art and republican society, the revolutionary art club. Through them distributed orders of the revolutionary government, . award prizes, . organized festivals and ceremonies, . in the design of which were attended by many architects, . painters, . Sculptors, . Engravers, . masters of decorative art,
. This helped to support the artists who lost their traditional orders of the royal court, aristocracy, art patrons and collectors, but the most important merit of David is not the.

As head of the artistic life of revolutionary France, he was a few years, marked by unprecedented fear and terror, managed to convince the authorities and the public respect for the artist. Convent, . often in session day and night, . addressing vital issues, . resignation of David listened to impassioned speeches about the careless restoration paintings of Correggio and Poussin, . argued in his presentation of the national art jury and premiums for a variety of work up to the landscapes and decorative flower arrangements,
. At the suggestion of David, the Louvre was transformed into a national museum, according to his recommendations were to buy works by Rembrandt and Rubens, to his initiative was appointed director of the Louvre Fragonard. Maintained in official document, which David wrote: "For Fragonard - his creation of numerous. Ardor and originality - that's what it characterizes; both the expert and the great artist, he would devote his senile years storage masterpieces, multiplication of which he contributed in his youth '. Thanks to David in the years of terror, when cut down the head of yesterday's opponents and supporters gather daily in dozens of huge baskets, like cabbage, not killed any one artist ...

Hunters will send to the gallows of the David, at least among academics wronged them, there were many. It is known that the day of 9 Thermidor coup, he went to a meeting of the Convention, which was the last for his friend Maximilien Robespierre, but, fortunately, the road artist stopped informed well-wisher.

. Arrested after the fall of the Jacobin dictatorship in 1794, David wrote in the conclusion of a self-portrait - the confession of a passionate person who has survived a complete collapse and death waiting
. The intense, stark silhouette, unseeing eyes desperate eyes, sharp, nervous painting ...

For David interfered, students, friends, members of the Convention, no serious charge against him does not withstand scrutiny, but also his freedom a few years pursuing gossip and rumors. David was not justified and explained. He opened the shop, and dragged him to the disciples, who soon, in spite of everything, had accumulated more than forty. And again the master persistently seeking independence not only for themselves but for every artist. David announces the opening of special exhibition fee. This has not happened, since time immemorial artist searching for a patron, collector, buyer; achieving order and writing to the canvas, had to bargain, to request pay underpaid, even if created a masterpiece. Now the fate of the artist and his work was directly dependent on the views of the public. 'As for me, - says inundated reproaches, this time in the self-interest and speculation of his fame, David, - I do not know of honor above to address the court in public'

. So, . December 21, 1799 in one of the halls of the Louvre painting was exhibited 'Sabinyanki', . and the Parisians saw the stranger, . new David - light silver color tone, . masterfully constructed on a huge canvas multifaceted composition, . soft rhythm of gestures and movements and, . main, . wide complex range of human emotions and experiences,
. Once stolen from the Sabines unarmed girl who became wives of the Romans, on the battlefield trying to stop and to reconcile their warring husbands and brothers. 'Blind rage, a sudden gust of cardiac tamed' - so the idea of pictures expressed by a friend of David.

Recall the yard in 1799, the exhibition opens next month, after returning from a military campaign in Egypt Bonaparte disbanded the legislature and became the first consul. France, already drenched in blood, is on the brink of war with all of Europe ... and at this time, David shows a sheet denying military romance, the glorification of heroism, contrasting them the love of mother to child, sister to brother, a wife to her husband.

. The logical next logical act of David, which had begun already in the first month of the first year of the new XIX century, was his rejection of the appointment of a special decree of Bonaparte to the honorable post of 'artist of the Government'

David's life was long, he died in 1825, survived the defeated Emperor Napoleon. By its own estimates of the wizard, only the direct disciples he had about five hundred, and can hardly be called an artist who somehow would not experience the influence of David. Regardless of the cut-to changing society's attitude to him was always attracted young people and not only received technical training school, but also introduced to the high principles of art, aware of the appointment of an artist - a creator of ideas. And the artistic life of France since gone in a new direction, in a tragic struggle laid by Jacques Louis David.

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