The Death Of Marat

Jacques-Louis David • Painting, 1793, 165×128 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Historical scene
Style of art: Classicism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1793
Size: 165×128 cm
Artwork in collection: The Museum at Versailles Irina Olikh
Artwork in selections: 83 selections

Description of the artwork «The Death Of Marat»

A fascinating canvas of Jacques-Louis David "The Death Of Marat" became one of the most famous images of blood-soaked French revolution and the apex of the master.

The history of this painful masterpiece even more colorful than its color palette. A picture paints a horrible political assassination. Journalist and radical leader of the Jacobins Jean-Paul Marat would never see the outcome of his brainchild - the French revolution: July 13, 1793 50-year-old political figure was murdered 24-year-old Charlotte Corday, which propaganda exposed a supporter of the Girondins. Actually, it was more prioritize democratic values, but total terror unleashed by the followers of Marat, inspired Charlotte hatred. Corday voluntarily surrendered to the authorities, and within four days after the murder was guillotined by the Jacobins.

In the cold hand of Marat clutching a piece of paper with the text: "Marie Anna Charlotte Corday to citizen Marat. Given my misfortune, I am entitled to your support". According to the artist, the note the killer used to enter the house, although in reality, Corday entered under the pretext of messages about the machinations of the Girondins. Another letter, which, on the idea of David must rehabilitate the dead man, lying on a wooden pedestal on top. Marat, supposedly, showed mercy, heeded the demands Corday wrote: "You should give this assignat mother of five children, whose father died in the fight for freedom". The lens itself is still lying there. And the pedestal, and the inscription is a dedication on it to symbolize a tombstone.

The figure of Marat is idealized like ancient heroes. But what is the reason for the "friend of the people" (the so-called published newspaper) has been overtaken by death in the bathroom? The fact that he was forced to take a bath because of skin diseases - rather, his body was covered with multiple eczema. To calm the skin, it is usually bathed in oatmeal broth.

Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Paul Marat was a member of the Jacobin club. The murder of a close friend shook artist, and after a couple of hours after news spread about the death, David was in the street of the Cordillera to draw the face of the deceased. The figure's headwas done with pen, volume of the forms was achieved as a result of intersecting lines, similar to the print technique the artist used for the first time and more to it is not treated.

David gave Marat the look of a Martyr of the revolution, he had achieved this by imitating loved by him Caravaggioin particular it "The entombment"- note the dangling hand in both papers, and the use of light and shade. Both paintings are constructed in such a way that all the viewer's attention was focused on the victim.

After the fall of Napoleon, David was banished from France, the rest of his life he lived in the Belgian capital. Sixty-one years after the death of David, his family bequeathed the painting to the Royal Museum of fine arts in Brussels, where "the Death of Marat" is set in 1886. She paid tribute to artists such as Edvard Munch and Paul Beaudry. Both wrote their own "remakes" of works by David: Munch put in the center of a Nude Charlotte Cordayand Beaudry, "reversing camera", showed Marat and his killer from a different angle. Picture of David became popular instantly - the resultin the pose of Marat had to die, Cleopatra.

Also to the picture, there are multiple references in pop culture. Picture of David is not just quoted in the movie. Impressed by the song "the death of Marat" was filmed one of the scenes of the film Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" (1975). Andrzej Wajda in the film "Danton" (1982) included several scenes, which takes place in the Studio of David, in the frame also gets a portrait of Marat. In the film "Caravaggio" (1986) directed by Derek Jarman simulates the situation of the paintings of David, replacing the paper in the typewriter. Contemporary Brazilian artist Vik Muniz has recreated "the Death of Marat" using waste landfill near Rio de Janeiro in his 2010 documentary of the year "Dump".

Of course, "the Death of Marat" is often target for parodies and imitations. Even Lady Gagatried on this image.

Author: Oleg Vybivaet