Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)
French painter Jacques-Louis David was the most prominent and influential painter in the French Neo-classical style. David's austere and ethical style of painting reflected the moral climate of 1780s France, swept up in revolution and political upheaval. David's thought-provoking style of history painting marked a changed from the looseness of the Rococo style. David said he wanted to change the art world by reintroducing the eternal concepts that belonged to the Classical School.
David Paintings such as Madame Juliette Recamier show David's admiration for the classical Italian masters, especially Raphael, whom he desired greatly to emulate. David was also an active supporter of the French Revolution and a comrade of Robespierre. After Robespierre's fall from power, David joined allegiances with Napoleon; often painting the Emperor in various triumphant scenes, such as in Napoleon Crosses the Alps. It was during this time when David developed his Empire Style, known for his use of warm, Venetian colors.
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