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The Oath Of The Horatii And The French Revolution

Decent Essays
To truly understand what is relevant about this story of the Horatii and this painting of David in relation to the French Revolution, it is important to make a distinction between the things that are relevant for this research and what is not. The renaissance of the Antiquity sort of means the same as the downfall of the Ancien Regime. Neoclassicism is connected to reality and the values of the Antiquity, wherein the Ancien Regime is connect to the beauty and plentifulness of the rococo style. That rococo style is something most monarchies could identify with.(Kunstkennis.nl)
The Oath of the Horatii is seen as one of the most symbolic masterpieces of the French Revolution and of patriotism. The ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity
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(Roth, 1994)
Also, the painting lets us see the ideal of sacrificing. Sacrificing is not meant in the context of the Antiquity where it can mean actually sacrificing a human life, but as to bring a sacrifice. Everything must be sacrificed for the main ideal and in this case, that is the French Revolution. It is about the personal sacrifice for a ideological political situation. The Horatii brothers are willing to sacrifice their lives for the victory of Rome. Eventually, two brother sacrifice themselves for the greater good that is the city of Rome. Publius Horatio fights on and beats the Curatii, he fights for the ideal of the city of Rome. That same reasoning and interpretation can be made in relation with France and the French Revolution. The French people needs to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, according to David. The most important thing is that the ideals of the French Revolution keep existing and that there is no monarchy in France. (Khan Academy)
In conclusion we can state a few things when we look at the art and politics of Jacques-Louis David. David had the luck that the rococo style went down and that he rose to the occassion during the transformation to neoclassicism, wherein he is considered one of the founding fathers. (Lajer-Burcharth, 1999) That neoclassical style wherein there is a lot of appreciation and attention for the Antiquity, gets its deep symbolism from the
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