Monday, May 27, 2024

The painting «Laoisière and his wife» .. describes the history of art


Sharjah: Aladdin Mahmood

French painter Jacques Louis David, “1748 1825”, presented elegant and timeless works, he was one of the most important artists of the Neoclassical school, he was born into a middle-class family, he studied art at the Royal Academy. 1774, he won the Rome Prize, after which he moved to Italy, where he was inspired by classical art and the works of the seventeenth-century artist Nicolas Poussin. He stayed there for six years, David developed a new classic style for himself and was considered the best photographer of this phase.

David was an ardent supporter of the French Revolution and a friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was practically the absolute ruler of the arts under the rule of the French Republic. Exiled himself to Brussels and then to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, where he remained until his death, and David had many pupils. , which gave him a strong influence on French art at the beginning of the nineteenth century, especially in the photography of the Academy and in his most famous works: “Battle Vow,” “Mara’s Death,” “The Sabine Woman,” and “Napoleon Crossing the Alps. David died in Brussels, and one of his most famous pupils was the Belgian artist François-Joseph Neves.

The painting “Laoisière and his wife” is one of David’s most important and famous works of art, and on the contrary, it is considered one of the rare pieces of art documenting a historical phase in the life of the French. Two prominent personalities in Paris society at the time were the scientist Antoine Lavoisier and his wife and assistant Marie Anne. Pierrette, David was commissioned to paint this painting in 1788, and the genius, ingenuity and style of the artist he created. His juxtaposition of multiple art styles is evident in this work. This painting belongs to the imperial style in which David worked and added a lot to it, especially the color touches and treatments and the use of warm colors suitable for depicting scenes of the middle class and aristocracy.

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*An explanation

The painting is painted in oil colors on canvas and shows the Lavoisier couple inside the husband’s luxurious office, and the painting accurately traces the details of the room, the wooden planks for the floors, the marble walls with three noble columns and so on. The office details of an important person at the time, and in the middle of the painting, the couple appears in a position that represents the understanding, peace and mutual love between them, the wife stands in an inclined way towards her husband, and she looks forward, so the scenes of the painting imagine that she is looking at him, she is eighteen Dressed in late-century clothing from that era, she wears a wig that appears to be white, the same color as the dress, a “lace” collar, and a blue belt around her waist.

As for the husband, he is sitting, wearing a black jacket and trousers with trousers, and shoes that seem to be twisted at the end, and he is wearing a white shirt, and above him is a black lace robe and a wig, and his face looks at his wife with love and tenderness, while His left hand is placed on the table, and with his right hand he is writing something with a quill, while the table is covered with crimson velvet, and several newspapers, a box containing jewels, and an inkwell with several quills and pens, and a scale of gas and atmospheric pressure, and on the right of the painting On the floor is a large spherical flask and more. Tools used for practical and research purposes, and to the left of the painting is a chair and black robe with documents, and critics note that the position of the pair is unusual in the late eighteenth century, which is different. From traditional standards at the time.

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The extreme skill in the use and distribution of colors and the use of different levels of lighting make the scene seem completely natural to the viewer, and the colors used are in harmony with the relationship between the romantic couple. Love, just before the French Revolution.


The importance of the painting is due to the characters in its scene, as the couple were important and influential in the society of the time, and both enjoyed intelligence and culture. Subject, who discovered and named oxygen, disproved the theory of “Phlogiston”, understood the role of oxygen in the combustion process, explained the mixture of air from two gases, first helps combustion and respiration and called it “”. the air of life,” and another he called “nitrogen,” which later became “nitrogen,” and in 1777 Lavoisier published his research and renamed the element that aids combustion now “oxygen,” and Lavoisier is generally cited as one of the fathers of modern chemistry.

As for the wife, she was a chemist and a noble lady in French society, possessed of great culture, intelligence and knowledge, and continued to assist her husband in his chemical researches and discoveries. She played an important role in translating many scientific researches, and she played an important role in unifying the scientific method, after the French Revolution, her husband Antoine Lavoisier was hanged, but his wife saved him. At the trial he applied for pardon, and the judge rejected his request: “Revolution does not need geniuses.” But his colleague Joseph Lagrange intervened in a decision. : “It wouldn’t take a minute to cut Lavoisier’s throat, but 100 years wouldn’t be enough to make up for someone like him.” The painting is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
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