The Artist Birthday Series

Jacques-Louis David

Jaques-Louis David: painter

Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825) was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity.


Jacques-Louis David was born on August 30, 1748, in Paris, France. His father was killed in a duel in when David was 9 years old, and the boy was subsequently left by his mother to be raised by two uncles. When the young boy showed an interest in painting, his uncles sent him to François Boucher, a leading painter of the time and family friend. Boucher was a Rococo painter of luscious work, but the Rococo era was giving way to a more classical style, so Boucher decided to send David to his friend Joseph-Marie Vien, a painter more in tune with the neoclassical reaction to Rococo.

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