"Painting The Revolution: David Before Napoleon" Lecture at the Clark June 18

For Immediate Release

June 07, 2005

On Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m., Michael Cassin, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's curator of education, will present a lecture on Jacques-Louis David's rise to fame as the most celebrated painter of his era.  Examining David's early years, "Painting the Revolution: David Before Napoleon" will offer insight on how the artist emerged as the leader of the Neoclassicist movement.  The slide lecture sets the stage for the Clark's current exhibition, Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile, which focuses on David's later career following the French Revolution. The lecture, held in the Clark auditorium, is free.

"Painting the Revolution: David Before Napoleon" will highlight three of David's most famous works, The Oath of the Horatii (1784, Louvre, Paris), Oath of the Tennis Court (1789-1792, Musée National du Chateau de Versailles, Versailles), and Death of Marat (1793, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels). Cassin will discuss David's youth, apprenticeship, and early years in Rome, and how he became associated with the propaganda ideals of the French Revolution.  Just how did David become David?  Was he in just the right place at the right time?  Discover how David made the transition from a middle-class family in Paris to the artist who influenced Western art for generations.

The Clark is celebrating its 50th year of art in nature with a year-long program of special exhibitions and initiatives, including the establishment of a new prize for arts writing, and the first national tour of masterpieces from its permanent collection.  The program also encompasses several special exhibitions including Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile, on view through September 5, 2005, and Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History, on view October 9, 2005 through January 8, 2006, featuring the Clark's extensive collection of works by this great American artist in an exhibition of paintings, watercolors, drawings, woodcuts, and photographs.  Celebrations and programs are planned throughout the anniversary. 

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (daily in July and August).  Admission is $10 (free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID).  For more information, call 413-458-2302 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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