Jacques-Louis David

Empire to Exile
Bordes, Philippe
Date published: 
April 2005

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 27 paintings and 29 drawings is also the first to examine the transformation of David’s art during the post-Revolutionary period (1800-1825). Each of the works, many of which were previously unknown or inaccessible, is reproduced in colour and accompanied by an entry with complete scholarly information.

Art historian Philippe Bordes establishes David’s position after the Terror and discusses the artist’s admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, 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. 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.

Exhibition schedule: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1 February to 24 April 2005; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 5 June to 5 September 2005.

Philippe Bordes was founding director of the Musée de la Révolution francaise in Vizille, France, from 1984 to 1996 and is currently professor of art history at the University of Lyon-2.

Published in association with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.