Social

French Painter and Draughtsman

The author points out that the painter was more interested in drawing than studying to be an architect. Because of David’s growing discontent and his failure to do well at the college, his mother and uncles sent him to study under a distant relative. Francois Boucher, a well-known Rococo artist. Soon Boucher also recognized David’s restlessness and his rejection of the Rococo genre. As a result of this Boucher persuaded his friend, Joseph-Marie Vien, to take David under wing for the purpose of instruction him in the classical painting style. He also wanted Vien to see to it that David the attended the Royal Academy-later to be known as The Louvre. Attending the academy represented another turning point in David’s life. Finally, he was able to do what he wanted to do. Excited about the possibilities now awaiting him, it wasn’t long until he met a constitute-Gavin Hamilton. With his approval and others of the same thinking, it wasn’t long until David was confident in his own abilities and works. Soon he was recognized as one of the most important artists of the neo-classical movement. However, he felt he could do more in Paris, and returned there in 1780. In the years following this, David began to be considered as one of the most serious artists of the times to represent the social and political society in which they lived. Still, under the tutelage of Vien, David was full of ambition and confidence in his work to the point of believing he could win the academy’s acclaimed Prix de Rome award. After several failed attempts to do so, David became enraged at the judges, including Vien, for their favoring lesser talented students over him. According to legend, David was so upset over this that he attempted to starve himself. Overcoming his despair, he continued to compete for the award, and in 1774, he succeeded- his diligence had finally been rewarded. Soon after this, Vien was appointed a director of the French Academy of Rome in Italy.

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