Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile
By Philippe Bordes
"The impeccable scholarship . . . is matched by handsome presentation and fine plates; I know no better book in English on this formidable painter."
--Brian Sewell, Evening Standard (London)
This beautifully illustrated book, focusing on a selection of later paintings and drawings by Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), is published to accompany the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States. Organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, this exhibition of twenty-seven paintings and twenty-nine drawings is also the first to examine the transformation of David’s art during the post-Revolutionary period (1800–1825), in particular his work produced during the empire of Napoleon I and the decade of David’s exile in Brussels following the Bourbon restoration. Art historian Philippe Bordes establishes David’s position after the Terror and discusses the artist’s admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, for whom he served as court painter. The book also investigates David’s new approach to antiquity in historical compositions and the avowed influence of the Flemish School on his practice.
The paintings and drawings in this volume demonstrate the full range of David’s art in the nineteenth century: grand official images of Bonaparte and his courtiers; intimate portraits of the artist’s friends and family; imposing mythological and classical subject pictures; study drawings for paintings; and finished drawings made for their own sake. Each of the works, many of which were previously unknown or inaccessible, is reproduced in color and accompanied by an entry with complete scholarly information. Drawing on many new documents and close analysis of the works featured in the book, Bordes offers a revised understanding of this deeply reactive artist and the creative output of his second career.
400 pages, 9 x 12 inches
80 color and 88 black-and-white illustrations
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in association with Yale University Press
ISBN 0-300-10447-2 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-931102-60-X (softcover)
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