Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Oath of Horatii

"The Oath of Horatii" was painted by Jacques-Louis David in 1784. It was considered a social commentary piece which precluded the French Revolution, depicting a scene from Roman history. This piece uses vivid colors and lighting to convey three-dimensional space. It is extremely detailed and precise. However, when I look at this painting the first thing I think is awkward. The whole feel of the piece is dramatic, which was probably the very intention of the artist. But the people within this piece look so stiff and uncomfortable. Not one person looks as if their placement was natural. I see this a lot with historical paintings, but it always kind of rubs me the wrong way. I always find it a little too overdone.

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