Jacques-Louis David was an influential French artist in the Neoclassical field. An active follower of the French
220px-David Self Portrait
Revolution, he created revolutionary paintings and was the strongest influence of French art in the 19th century.


Jacques-Louis David was born on 30 August 1748 in Paris, France. His father was killed when David was 9, which led his mother to leave him with his uncles. David wished to be a painter from an early age, much to the chagrin of his mother and uncles who wished him to be an architect. David was scholared by French Rococo artists and attended the Royal Academy. He went to Rome to enter the Prix de Rome, an art scholarship, finally winning in 1774 after 5 attempts. At the French Academy of Rome, his friends did not get along with him well, though they recongnised his genius. In 1784 he painted the Oath of the Horatii, which has become his most famous painting. He was a supporter of the French Revolution and very active in it. David became a friend of Maximilien Robespierre, one of the major influences of the Revolution. After Robespierre's imprisonment, he was arrested and then aligned himself with Napoleon I. David was also essentially a Dictator of the Arts under the French Republic. He died from being struck by a carriage on 29 December 1825.