Bonaparte (1798) by Jacques-Louis David

Bonaparte - Jacques-Louis David - 1798

Artwork Information

ArtistJacques-Louis David
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions31 7/8 x 25 5/8 in
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationMusée du Louvre, Paris

About Bonaparte

The artwork titled “Bonaparte” is a distinguished portrait painted by the eminent French artist Jacques-Louis David in 1798. Executed in the medium of oil on canvas, it embodies the refined aesthetics of the Neoclassical movement. The dimensions of the artwork measure approximately 31 7/8 by 25 5/8 inches. As a genre, it is identified as a portrait and holds a venerable position within the collection of the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

The masterpiece presents a close-up depiction of Napoleon Bonaparte, conveying a sense of contemplative intensity and firm determination. His gaze is directed off-canvas, which might suggest a thoughtful engagement with matters beyond the immediate surroundings or an anticipation of future ambitions. Bonaparte is adorned in a dark military uniform, which is contrasted by a hint of a red garment, likely to be his iconic cloak, draped across his shoulder, signifying his military stature and implicit authority.

The painter’s mastery in capturing subtle textures and tones is evident in the lifelike representation of his subject’s features and the depth of expression achieved. Through the deft application of light and shadow, David encapsulates the character and inner strength of Bonaparte, marking this work as not only a visual representation but also a psychological study of a man who would come to leave a profound mark on European history.

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