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Part of European Paintings
Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels)
Date: 1787Accession Number: 31.45
Date: 1788Accession Number: 1977.10
baron François Gérard (French, Rome 1770–1837 Paris)
Date: ca. 1805Accession Number: 2002.31
Date: 1808Accession Number: 2012.348
Pierre Paul Prud'hon (French, Cluny 1758–1823 Paris)
Date: 1817Accession Number: 1994.190
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris)
Date: 1787Accession Number: 49.7.53
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Europe's fascination with the heritage of Greece and Rome assumed new urgency in the years leading up to the French Revolution, the onset of which was marked by the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789. The roles of artist and political activist converged in Jacques-Louis David. His Death of Socrates—a landmark Neoclassical painting—shows the heretical teacher and philosopher of Athens as he prepares to sacrifice his life for his beliefs. The picture was exhibited to acclaim at the Salons of 1787 and 1791. In portraiture during the same period, the accoutrements of courtly power yielded to understated elegance, suggesting a culture of refined intelligence.
Jayne Wrightsman Gallery
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