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Jacques-Louis David
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    (August 30, 1748-December 29, 1825)
    Born in Paris, France
    Neo-classical painter
    Developed the 'Imperial style' during the reign of Napoleon
    Notable works include 'Oath of the Horatii' (1784), 'The Death of Socrates' (1787), 'The Death of Marat' (1793), 'Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass' (1801), 'The Coronation of Napoleon' (1806), 'Napoleon in His Study' (1812) and 'Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces' (1824)
    He said of his school days, 'I was always hiding behind the instructor's chair, drawing for the duration of the class.'
    When he failed to win a scholarship to the French Academy in Rome, he tried to starve himself to death in protest.
    He was a member of Robespierre's Committee of Safety that oversaw the Reign of Terror.
    His wife, a royalist, divorced him after he voted to execute King Louis XVI.
    When Robespierre was arrested at the National Convention, he yelled, 'If you drink hemlock, I shall drink it with you.'
    Instead, he conveniently fell sick and missed the evening session of the Convention where Robespierre was sentenced to death.
    He suffered a sword wound to the face in a fencing accident, which caused difficulty in eating and speaking.
    His painting 'The Intervention of the Sabine Women' (1799 was an allegorical call for the French people to reunite after the bloodshed of the Revolution.
    The painting at least worked on a personal level: he and his wife remarried.
    After the restoration of the French monarchy, he was exiled to Belgium, while his paintings were removed from the Louvre.
    He died after being struck by a carriage as he left the theater.

Credit: C. Fishel

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