Rate this paper
  • Currently rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
4.14 / 7
Paper Topic:

Death of Socrates, painting

Death of Socrates , Painting

In my essay I will analyze the historical picture The Death of Socrates (Oil on Canvas , 51 ' kh771 /4 1787 , Metropolitan Museum of Art , painted by neo-classicist Jacques-Louis David . David 's controversial painting depicts the last moments of life of the greatest Athenian philosopher - Socrates . The government of Athens condemned Socrates for death or for exile for being an atheist and for his teaching methods which awoke skeptical thinking and criticism in his disciples . Socrates accepted death from drinking poison and heroically rejected exile . In particular , Jacques-Louis

David depicted the scene where the great philosopher , surrounded by his friends , is sitting on the couch and reaching the cup of hemlock and is pronouncing his final words

The controversy of the painting lays in the opposition of death and life , self-control and the state of being emotionally overwhelmed , evil and good , true and wrong . The main idea of the picture - the victory of mind over death - is brightly expressed with the help of the setting distribution of light and dark . In this work I shall try to contemplate the different reasons for why Socrates chose to accept a punishment of death rather than attempt to use the opportunities given him to avoid the death penalty . Among the most probable explanations ethics and martyrdom will be taken into consideration . Also my analysis of the picture will comprise the following characters : Socrates himself , the characters of philosopher 's friends and disciples , the wife of Socrates In addition , I will set the historical background for my analysis and provide it with the necessary proofs and quotations from the reliable sources

The author of the painting The Death of Socrates , Jacques-Louis David , was born on August 30 , 1748 in a wealthy family of a Parisian merchant . He received his first education at a boarding school the Collige des Quatre Nations in his native city . Then David became a student of a famous professor Joseph-Marie Vien (1716-1809 , who had a reputation of a good teacher and produced a great impact on the development of a young artist . From 1766 to 1774 Jacques-Louis David studied art in Vein 's class at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture . In his paintings David created a new cult of the civic virtues - his main characters serve as perfect models of stoical self-sacrifice , austerity , devotion to duty and honesty . Thus the artist attempted to pass his revolutionary ideas through his works and later he became known as the painter of revolution . Also the modern critics of art noted that David 's paintings of `martyrs of the Revolution ' were devised as portraits , nevertheless , raised portraiture into the domain of the universal tragedy

At those days the most influential and prevalent movement in painting and other arts was Neoclassicism (early works in the 1960s with its peak period in the 1780s and '90s , and lasted till 1840s and '50s . Entailed by the revolution and Enlightenment epoch , the Neoclassical period presents a distinguishing artistic trend . Jacques Louis David was...

Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay (only for $12.99)