French Artists

French Artists
  • Paul Cézanne
  • Gustave Courbet
  • Jacques-Louis David
  • Edgar Degas
  • Eugène Delacroix
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Claude Monet
  • Auguste Renoir
  • Nicolas Poussin
  • Henri Matisse
  • Antoine Watteau
  • Jean-François Millet
  • Charles Le Brun
  • Jean Fouquet

Jacques-Louis David (1748 - 1825)

Jacques-Louis David was a French painter born in Paris on August 30, 1748. His family came from a prosperous middle-class background and he was sent to study at the Académie Royale with Rococo painter J.M. Vien as his mentor. David was one of the artists who contributed to the introduction of the Neo-Classical style in French art.

In 1774, David won the Prix de Rome and he soon travelled to Italy where Classical art and compatriot Nicolas Poussin had a lot of influence on young David's formation as an artist. His earliest style was Neo-Classical and as time passed his artistic style evolved into a more realistic style. This was due to his desire to depict scenes of the French Revolution more accurately.

He became Napoleon's official painter in 1799 and continued working for him until 1815. With Napoleon's downfall, David went into exile, staying in Brussels until his death in 1825. In Brussels he continued painting, focusing especially on Greek and Roman mythology. His style is representative of the transition in French Art, from the 18th century Rococo and the 19th century Realism.