Jacques-Louis David

Posted in Art, Paintings

Long Looks from Island to Island

Old Couple / John Currin
Artwork © John Currin. Photo: Robert McKeever

Two paintings of lovers, decades and centuries apart. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Ancient Myth, Contemporary Politics

Paris and Helen, 1786, Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748 - 1825), pen and black ink and brush and gray wash, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Paris and Helen, 1786, Jacques-Louis David. Pen and black ink and brush and gray wash, 7 3/16 x 9 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 83.GA.192

Jacques-Louis David made Greco-Roman myths directly relevant to the contemporary public, as this sly drawing shows. More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

Jacques-Louis David, Political Artist

Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, Jacques-Louis David, 1804

Today is  the 262nd birthday of Jacques-Louis David, the French painter best known for his austere Neoclassical paintings such as Oath of the Horatii. David was as political an artist as ever lived. He was a leader of the French… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Warnings to the Rich & Powerful

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      It would be awesome if this was Medieval hangman, or a really awkward frat party, but it’s actually the result of a one-letter swap gone wrong in a book about the fates of the rich. 

      Here’s the full story:

      You sometimes regret what pops out unexpectedly when you open your mouth, but in this case, even the fish must have been quite surprised when a wooly lamb burst forth. 

      The stories in this text by Giovanni Boccaccio warn of the terrible fate that often awaits the rich and powerful. He uses here the example of King Polycrates, who tossed a ring into a river, hoping for good luck, and found it later in the mouth of a fish. 

      Someone got confused, though, and instead of a ring (in French, annel), what came out instead was a lamb (agnel). Apparently, neither the ring nor the lamb worked because the king was later hanged (background).

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

      08/31/15

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