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This is a little booklet about the artist, Jacques-Louis David.

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Presented by: Margaret Pepin

I made this booklet to illustrate the fantastic artist that is, or was, Jacques-Louis David. I have always been fascinated by him and his works ever since I learned about him in AP European History. French history by far is one of my favorite histories to learn about, and him being a major role in Napoleon’s empire is something important to highlight. David is largely the reason why I like Neoclassical art, and he is one of my favorite artists. I invite you to learn more about Jacques-Louis David by reading this booklet, and I hope you appreciate him as much as I do.

Jacques-Louis David was born on August 30, 1748 in Paris, France. His parents were quite wealthy, but his father was killed when David was nine years old. His mother left him under the supervision of his uncles, who were architects. His uncles wanted him to have a good education, so they sent him to a pristine school, but David was not a good student. He had a speech impediment due to a tumor, but he used most of his time drawing. He wanted to be a painter, even though his family wanted to be an architect. He studied under a Baroque painter, Francois Boucher, but Boucher sent him to Joseph-Marie Vien, knowing the Baroque movement was dying out. David then attended the Royal Academy of France.

Jacques-Louis David was a Neo-Classical artist. Neoclassicism was an art movement that strongly reflected ancient Greek and Roman characteristics, aspects and ideals. Critics of his work compared some of his art pieces to Michelangelo’s and Raphael’s forms. David had students, some of which included Francois Gerard, Antoine-Jean Gros, and Anne-Louis Girodet. They were clearly influenced by their master, and you can see David’s influence in their works. Jacques-Louis David was the First Painter to the Emperor Napoleon, so his works clearly had an influence in Napoleon’s empire.



And now, a




glimpse at

















"Oath of the Horatii"


Oil on canvas

Musée du Louvre at Paris

"The Death of Socrates"



Oil on canvas

Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The Death of Marat"


Oil on canvas

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts at Brussels



"The Coronation of Napoleon"


Oil on Canvas

Musée du Louvre at Paris


"The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries" 


Oil on canvas

National Gallery of Art

"Zenaide and Carlotta Bonaparte" 


Oil on canvas

J. Paul Getty Museum

And now,


some of my








David (-:

"Napoleon Crossing the Alps"

This piece was made to glorify the emperor Napoleon of France. It truly is an awe to behold, and glorify Napoleon, it does. The background is mostly gray, which lets the viewer focus their attention on the subject of the piece, Napoleon. He rides a white horse, and he himself is dressed in his military garb. When the viewer looks at Napoleon, Napoleon looks back. Napoleon points towards the sky, as if saying, “That is where we are going. We are destined for greatness.” The pose of the horse is interesting given that it looks like it is rearing, but Napoleon looks confident. Something interesting about this piece is that there are five versions painted by David. David was the First Painter to the emperor, so he created wonderful works glorifying him.

19th century

Oil on canvas

"The Combat of Diomedes"

I find this piece extraordinary because it was made with pen. David created this piece when he was twenty-eight years old, which is also a feat in itself. This piece is Neoclassical because it shows a scene from Greek mythology. It depicts Diomedes, the king of Argos, fighting the Trojans in what was the Trojan War. Diomedes was a deadly force to be reckoned with, and he had killed so many people in the war that he was only second to Achilles. The viewer can see mortals on the bottom of the piece being slain, and the ancient Greek gods are above. The Trojan War was a bloody mess (literally), and David’s depiction of it is absolutely astounding. It is also interesting to note that this piece was made the year that the United States won its independence from Great Britain, and history shows that the Revolution had a great impact on France’s politics.





Pen, brush and ink







The next few pages are credits and sources of images (-:

Links to Images Used: 



























Last, but not least...

This work was originally typed by me! 

The link to the original document is here: