Monday, September 15, 2008


Jacques-Louis David [1748-1825], The Oath of the Horatii
The Roman Republic is at war, and the dispute is to be settled by mortal combat between three Roman brothers (the Horatii) and three enemy brothers (the Curatii). David shows the dramatic moment when the Horatii swear before their father their allegiance to the State, and a readiness to die on its behalf. But the story presents a difficult moral dilemma, for one of the Horatii brothers is married to one of the sisters of the Curatii, and a Horatii sister is betrothed to one of the Curatii brothers. They will choose self-sacrifice and loyalty to the Republic over family ties and personal emotion. The picture was commissioned by Louis XVI, who was guillotined in 1792.
More context.

Due to a facial disfigurement, David was a loner and near recluse who wrapped himself in his art at a young age.

"window dresser of tyranny."