|La Mort de Marat|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||162 cm× 128 cm(64 in× 50 in)|
|Location||Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium|
The Death of Marat (French : La Mort de Marat or Marat Assassiné) is a 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David of the murdered French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. It is one of the most famous images of the French Revolution. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13 July 1793, after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T. J. Clark as the first modernist painting, for "the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it".
The painting is displayed in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium. A replica done by the author's studio is in display at the Louvre.
Marat (24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was one of the leaders of the Montagnards, the radical faction ascendant in French politics during the Reign of Terror until the Thermidorian Reaction. Charlotte Corday was a Girondin from a minor aristocratic family and a political enemy of Marat who blamed him for the September Massacre. She gained entrance to Marat's rooms with a note promising details of a counter-revolutionary ring in Caen.
Marat suffered from a skin condition that caused him to spend much of his time in his bathtub; he would often work there. Corday fatally stabbed Marat, but she did not attempt to flee. She was later tried and executed for the murder.
As well as being the leading French painter of his generation, David was a prominent Montagnard, and a Jacobin, aligned with Marat and Maximilian Robespierre. A deputy of the Museum section at the Convention, he voted for the death of the King, and served on the Committee of General Security, where he actively participated in the sentencing and imprisonment of many and eventually presided over the "section des interrogatoires". He was also on the Committee of Public Instruction.
Marat's figure is idealized. [ who? ] as an "awful beautiful lie"— certainly not a photograph in the forensic scientific sense and barely the simple image it may seem (for instance, in the painting, the knife is not to be seen where Corday had left it impaled in Marat's chest, but on the ground, beside the bathtub).For example, the painting contains no sign of his skin problems, his skin appears clean and unblemished. David, however, drew other details from his visit to Marat's residence the day before the assassination: the green rug, the papers, and the pen. David promised his peers in the National Convention that he would later depict their murdered friend invocatively as "écrivant pour le bonheur du peuple" (writing for the good of the people). The Death of Marat is designed to commemorate a personable hero. Although the name Charlotte Corday can be seen on the paper held in Marat's left hand, she herself is not visible. Close inspection of this painting shows Marat at his last breath, when Corday and many others were still nearby (Corday did not try to escape). Therefore, David intended to record more than just the horror of martyrdom. In this sense, for realistic as it is in its details, the painting, as a whole, from its start, is a methodical construction focusing on the victim, a striking set up regarded today by several critics
The Death of Marat has often been compared to Michelangelo's Pietà . Note the elongated arm hanging down in both works. David admired Caravaggio's works, especially Entombment of Christ , which mirrors The Death of Marat's drama and light.
David sought to transfer the sacred qualities long associated with the monarchy and the Catholic Church to the new French Republic. He painted Marat, martyr of the Revolution, in a style reminiscent of a Christian martyr, with the face and body bathed in a soft, glowing light.As Christian art had done from its beginning, David also played with multileveled references to classical art. Suggestions that Paris could compete with Rome as capital and mother city of the Arts and the idea of forming a kind of new Roman Republic appealed to French Revolutionaries, who often formed David's audience.
Widely admired during the Terror whose leaders ordered several copies of the original work (copies made in 1793–1794 by David's pupils to serve propaganda), The Death of Marat slowly ceased to be 'frontpage history' after Robespierre's overthrow and execution. At his request, it was returned to David in 1795, himself being prosecuted for his involvement in the Terror as a member of the Committee of General Security (he would have to wait for Napoleon's rise to become prominent in the arts once more). From 1795 to David's death, the painting languished in obscurity. During David's exile in Belgium, it was hidden, somewhere in France, by Antoine Gros, David's dearest pupil. In 1826 (and later on), the family tried to sell it, with no success at all. It was rediscovered by the critics in the mid-nineteenth century, especially by Charles Baudelaire whose famous commentin 1846 became the starting point of an increased interest among artists and scholars. In the 20th century, the painting inspired several painters (among them Picasso and Munch who delivered their own versions), poets (Alessandro Mozzambani) and writers (the most famous being Peter Weiss with his play Marat/Sade ).
The original painting is currently displayed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, being there as a result of a decision taken by the family to offer it, in 1886, to the city where the painter had lived quietly and died in exile after the fall of Napoleon. Some of the copies (the exact number of those completed remains uncertain) made by David's pupils (among them, Gioacchino Giuseppe Serangeli and Gérard) survived, notably visible in the museums of Dijon, Reims, and Versailles. The original letter, with bloodstains and bath water marks still visible, has survived and is currently intact in the ownership of Robert Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford.
Other artists have also depicted the death of Marat, sometimes long after the facts, whose works refer or not to David's masterpiece. Among these later works, the Charlotte Corday by Paul Jacques Aimé Baudry, painted in 1860, during the Second Empire, when Marat's "dark legend" (the angry monster insatiably hungry for blood) was widely spread among educated people, depicts Charlotte Corday as a true heroine of France, a model of virtue for the younger generations. The versions of Picasso and Munch are less trying to refer to the original context in itself than to confront modern issues with those of David, in terms of style. Brazilian artist Vik Muniz created a version composed of contents from a city landfill as part of his "Pictures of Garbage" series.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Jacques-Louis David was a French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward classical austerity and severity and heightened feeling, harmonizing with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.
Jean-Paul Marat was a French political theorist, physician and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution. He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L'Ami du peuple made him an unofficial link with the radical Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.
The Girondins, or Girondists, were members of a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution.
Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont, known as Charlotte Corday, was a figure of the French Revolution. In 1793, she was executed by guillotine for the assassination of Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat, who was in part responsible for the more radical course the Revolution had taken through his role as a politician and journalist. Marat had played a substantial role in the political purge of the Girondins, with whom Corday sympathized. His murder was depicted in the painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, which shows Marat's dead body after Corday had stabbed him in his medicinal bath. In 1847, writer Alphonse de Lamartine gave Corday the posthumous nickname l'ange de l'assassinat.
Louis Le Vau was a French Baroque architect, who worked for Louis XIV of France. He was an architect that helped develop the French Classical style in the 17th Century.
Jean-Baptiste Regnault was a French painter.
Carlos Schwabe was a Swiss Symbolist painter and printmaker.
Louis-Michel le Peletier, Marquis of Saint-Fargeau was a French politician and martyr of the French revolution.
Louis Gustave le Doulcet, comte de Pontécoulant was a French politician. He was the father of Louis Adolphe le Doulcet and Philippe Gustave le Doulcet.
Marie-Denise Villers was a French painter who specialized in portraits.
François Lemoyne or François Le Moine was a French rococo painter. He was a winner of the Prix de Rome, professor of the Académie de peinture et de sculpture, and Premier peintre du Roi to Louis XV. He was tutor to Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps is any of five versions of an oil on canvas equestrian portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte painted by the French artist Jacques-Louis David between 1801 and 1805. Initially commissioned by the King of Spain, the composition shows a strongly idealized view of the real crossing that Napoleon and his army made across the Alps through the Great St. Bernard Pass in May 1800.
Antoine-François Momoro was a French printer, bookseller and politician during the French Revolution. An important figure in the Cordeliers club and in Hébertisme, he is the originator of the phrase ″Unité, Indivisibilité de la République; Liberté, égalité, fraternité ou la mort″, one of the mottoes of the French Republic.
Fleury François Richard, sometimes called Fleury-Richard, was a painter of the École de Lyon. A student of Jacques-Louis David, Fleury-Richard and his friend Pierre Révoil were precursors of the Troubador style.
The Musée de la Révolution française is a departmental museum in the French town of Vizille, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Grenoble on the Route Napoléon. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to the French Revolution.
Events from the year 1793 in France.
François Jean-Baptiste Topino-Lebrun was a French painter and revolutionary. He worked in the Neo-Classical style and was said to be the favorite student of Jacques-Louis David.
Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier was a French portrait, genre, history painter and author. He studied with Jean-Jacques Lebarbier (1738–1826) and briefly with Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825). Until 1824 he exhibited at the Salons under his family name LeCarpentier, but after 1824 shortened his last name to Carpentier.
Neoclassicism is a movement in architecture, design and the arts which was dominant in France between about 1760 to 1830. It emerged as a reaction to the frivolity and excessive ornament of the baroque and rococo styles. In architecture it featured sobriety, straight lines, and forms, such as the pediment and colonnade, based on Ancient Greek and Roman models. In painting it featured heroism and sacrifice in the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. It began late in the reign of Louis XV, became dominant under Louis XVI, and continued through the French Revolution, the French Directory, and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Bourbon Restoration until 1830, when it was gradually replaced as the dominant style by romanticism and eclecticism.
Jean-Jacques Hauer or Johann Jakob Hauer was a German painter active in France. Hauer is known to have painted the portrait of Charlotte Corday before her execution.
The artist who drafted the portrait of Charlotte Corday in the tribunal was M. Hauer, painter and National Guard officer for the Theatre Francais. Being back in her cell, she asked the janitor to allow him to enter to finish his work. M. Hauer was let in. Charlotte thanked him of the interest he took of her fate and posed in front of him with serenity